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India’s 3rd Lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 successfully placed in orbit, begins 42-day journey to moon

Date:

 India’s third Lunar exploratory mission

Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft was successfully placed in the precise orbit

by ISRO’s heaviest launch vehicle “Fat Boy’ LVM3-M4 on Friday from the

SHAR Range-SDSC here, marking the commencement of its 42-day long

journey towards the hither to unexplored Moon’s South Polar Region.

After a 25.5 hour countdown, the 43.5 m tall launch vehicle, with a lift off

mass of 642 tonnes, took off majestically from the Second Launch Pad

at 2.35 p.m from the SHAR Range, which was witnessed by tens

and hundreds of people, including school and college students and women,

who cheered every moment by carrying the Indian tricolour.

After the ignition and separation of all the three stages and after a flight

duration of 16 minutes, Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft was injected into a

179 km Orbit successfully amid jubilant scenes at the Mission Control

Centre.

ISRO tweeted after the launch, “LVM3 M4 vehicle successfully launched

Chandrayaan-3 into orbit.”

“Chandrayaan-3, in its precise orbit, has begun its journey to the Moon”,

it said.

The Health of the Spacecraft is normal, it added.

After undertaking orbit raising manoeuvers in the coming days, the

Chandrayaan-3 will begin its long journey for a safe landing and

roving on the lunar surface.

After a more than 3.8 lakh km journey, the soft landing was expected

to take place in the last week of August.

The landing date will be decided when there is sunrise on the moon.

“When we are landing, sunlight must be there. So the landing will

be on August 23 or 24,” according to ISRO Chairman S.Somanath,

who said the coming 42 days of the Chandrayaan-3’s journey was

very important and crucial.

The Chandrayaan-3 consists of an indigenous lander module (LM),

propulsion module (PM), and a rover with the objective of developing

and demonstrating new technologies required for future inter-planetary

missions.

The success of Chandrayaan-3 will make it the surface mission

closest to the lunar south pole to date, a region of the moon that

has been found to be geologically unique and host to spots in

permanent shadow.

A perfect soft landing on the Moon’s surface will make India the

fourth country to accomplish this feat, thereby joining a select

group of spacefaring nations.

Only three countries have managed to soft-land on the moon. For

USA, the success came after several failed attempts. It landed

Surveyor 1 on the moon in 1966 during the height of the space

race. China, on the other hand, landed Chang’e 3 successfully

on its first attempt. Just a few months before, Surveyor 1, of the

then Soviet Union achieved the first successful soft landing with

Luna 9.

India too nearly achieved in its maiden attempt when it launched

Chandryaan-2 in July 2019, before the lander crash landed very

close to the landing spot, making the mission about 99.99 per

cent success.

President Droupady Murmu, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankar,

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister of State for

Science and Technology Jitendra Singh and various leaders

hailed the Team ISRO for achieving a monumental feat.

While the President termed it as another significant milestone

in space exploration, Mr Modi said Chandrayaan-3 scripts a new

chapter in India’s space odyssey and soars high, elevating the

dreams and ambitions of every Indian.

In a tweet, the President said “India successfully launches

Chandrayaan-3 marking another significant milestone in space

exploration.”

After the successful mission Mr Modi tweeted, “Chandrayaan-3

scripts a new chapter in India’s space odyssey. It soars high,

elevating the dreams and ambitions of every Indian.”

“This momentous achievement is a testament to our scientists’

relentless dedication”, he said.

“I salute their spirit and ingenuity!”, Mr Modi said.

Meanwhile, a beaming Mr Somanath, addressing the scientists

after the successful launch, said “Congrats India”.

Chandryaan-3 has started its journey to the moon.

The LVM3-M4 has precisely placed the Chandrayaan-3 in

the 170 x 36500 km Orbit.

“It will travel towards moon in the coming days after

undertaking orbit raising maneouvers”, he said.

Dr Jitendra Singh, who witnessed the launch from the

Mission Control Centre, termed the successful launch

of Chandrayaan-3 as a moment of glory for India and

the history in making.

Chandrayaan-3 will explore the unexplored horizons of

the lunar surface”, the Minister said, in his brief address.

The European Space Agency (ESA) will help ISRO in

tracking the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft.

ESA’s 15 m antenna in Kourou, French Guiana, will be

used to track Chandrayaan-3 to help ensure that the

spacecraft survived the rigours of lift off and is in good

health as it begins its journey to the Moon.

IT said as the spacecraft recedes from Earth, ESA will

coordinate tracking support from the 32-metre antenna

operated by Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd in the UK.

Goonhilly will support Chandrayaan-3’s propulsion and

lander modules. Crucially, it will support the lander

during the entire phase of lunar surface operations,

helping to ensure that science data acquired by the

rover arrives safely with ISRO in India.

The two European stations will compliment support from

NASA’s Deep Space Network and ISRO’s own stations to

ensure the spacecraft’s operators never lose sight of

their pioneering Moon craft.

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