In a significant achievement, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched a 642-tonne heavy lift rocket, LVM3, from Sriharikota. This historic mission, known as Chandrayaan-3, marks another milestone for India’s space exploration efforts and its mission to the moon.
The launch was witnessed by esteemed personalities including Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Science and Technology, and former Chairpersons of ISRO, who were present at the Control Centre ISRO. The event drew immense excitement from the scientific community and their families, as well as hundreds of registered onlookers outside the campus, who cheered and applauded as the rocket soared into the sky. Over 200 journalists from across the country and international media also gathered at the venue, joining the celebration with resounding applause.
The launch proceeded flawlessly, with all three stages performing in a textbook manner. The initial stage was powered by solid fuel, followed by the second stage with liquid fuel, and the final cryogenic stage powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, executing a perfect automatic launch sequence.
Precisely at 2:35 PM, the rocket took off from the second launch pad of the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre, initiating India’s latest lunar mission. A notable aspect of the Chandrayaan-3 mission is the involvement of 54 women engineers and scientists who played crucial roles as associate and deputy project directors and project managers across various systems and centers.
Chandrayaan-3 shares similarities with its predecessor, Chandrayaan-2, particularly in terms of the soft landing of the lander on the lunar surface and the rover conducting chemical experiments. However, there are differences in the lander specifications, payload experiments, and other aspects between the two missions.
The mission director for Chandrayaan-3 is Mohan Kumar, the Vehicle/Rocket Director is Biju C. Thomas, and the Spacecraft Director is Dr. P. Veeramuthuvel.
The propulsion module of the mission carries a payload dedicated to studying precise metric measurements of Earth from the lunar surface. The lander payloads are designed to measure thermal conductivity, temperature, and seismicity in the landing site vicinity. Additionally, a passive laser retro-reflector array from NASA has been included for lunar laser ranging studies. The rover will carry two small devices to determine the elemental composition of the landing site.
The successful launch of Chandrayaan-3 represents a significant step forward in India’s space exploration endeavors and its commitment to advancing scientific knowledge about the moon. The mission holds great promise for further discoveries and insights into our celestial neighbor.