Chandrayaan-3 Mission: India's Moon-bound Spacecraft to Reach Lunar Surface in 40 Days

The moon lander Vikram is positioned atop a powerful Mark 3 heavy-lift launch vehicle, commonly known as the Bahubali rocket.

Sriharikota: India's Chandrayaan-3 took off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, carrying the aspirations of a whole nation. If it succeeds, the mission will establish India as the fourth country to achieve a controlled moon landing, following Russia, the United States, and China. The lunar lander Vikram rests on a powerful Mark 3 heavy-lift launch vehicle, affectionately known as the Bahubali rocket.

The spacecraft's journey from Earth to the moon is estimated to take around a month, with the anticipated landing date set for August 23. Once on the lunar surface, it will operate for a period of one lunar day, equivalent to approximately 14 Earth days. The upcoming Chandrayaan-3 mission consists of three main components: a lander, a rover, and a propulsion module. It will utilize the existing Orbiter from the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which is still present in the lunar atmosphere.

In a significant first, India's lunar vehicle named 'Vikram' will touch down at the moon's South Pole, a region where water molecules have been discovered. This groundbreaking finding was initially revealed during India's inaugural moon mission in 2008, causing a global stir.

Vikram's primary objective is to achieve a safe and gentle landing. Following the touchdown, the lander will deploy the rover Pragyan, which will traverse the moon's surface for the duration of a lunar day, conducting scientific experiments.

The latest version of Chandrayaan comes after a previous endeavor that ended in failure, as the ground team lost contact just moments before landing.

In 2019, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) faced a setback with its second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, when it couldn't successfully land on the moon. However, in order to avoid repeating past mistakes, ISRO has implemented a series of changes for the upcoming mission.

ISRO Chief S Somnath explained in an exclusive interview that the primary issue in the previous Chandrayaan-2 mission was the occurrence of abnormal conditions within the system. Not everything went as planned, and the spacecraft was unable to handle those abnormal conditions to ensure a safe landing.