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ISRO gears up for Chandrayaan-3 launch on July 14

Date:

 The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

is gearing up for the third Lunar Mission Chandrayaan-3 that will take

place on July 14 at 2.35 p.m. from the spaceport of Sriharikota.

ISRO will be using its heaviest rocket Launch Vehicle Mission-MkIII

(LVM3-M4) which will place the integrated module in an Elliptic

Parking Orbit (EPO) of size 170 x 36500 km.

The 43.5 m tall launch vehicle, with a lift off mass of 642 tonnes, will

take off from the Second Launch Pad.

The countdown for the launch is expected to commence on Thursday

after getting clearance from the Launch Authorisation Board (LAB).

Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar exploration mission is ready

to take off in fourth operational mission (M4) of LVM3 launcher,

ISRO said on Tuesday.

LVM3 is the operational heavy lift launch vehicle of ISRO and has

a spectacular pedigree of completing six consecutive successful

missions.

This is the fourth operational flight of LVM3, to launch Chandrayaan-3

spacecraft to Geo Transfer Orbit (GTO).

LVM3 has proved its versatility to undertake most complex missions

like Injecting multi-satellites, Mission planning to ensure safe

relative distance among separated satellites through re-orientation

and velocity addition maneuvers, Multi orbit (LEO, MEO, GEO) and

execute interplanetary missions.

India’s largest and heaviest launch vehicle ferrying Indian and

international customer satellites.

Through Chandrayaan-3 mission, ISRO is crossing new frontiers by

demonstrating soft landing on lunar surface by its lunar module and

demonstrate roving on the lunar terrain.

It is expected to be supportive to ISRO’s future interplanetary missions.

Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 to demonstrate

end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface.

It consists of Lander and Rover configuration. The propulsion module

will carry the lander and rover configuration till 100 km lunar orbit.

The propulsion module has Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet

Earth (SHAPE) payload to study the spectral and Polari metric

measurements of Earth from the lunar orbit.

Additionally the deployment of rover and in-situ scientific experiment

will scale new heights in lunar expeditions by deploying Rover.

The Lander payloads are Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment

(ChaSTE) to measure the thermal conductivity and temperature; Instrument

for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) for measuring the seismicity around the

landing site; Langmuir Probe (LP) to estimate the plasma density and its

variations.

A passive Laser Retroreflector Array from NASA is accommodated for lunar

laser ranging studies.

The Rover payloads are Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and

Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) for deriving the elemental

composition in the vicinity of landing site.

Chandrayaan-3 consists of an indigenous Lander Module (LM), Propulsion

Module (PM) and a Rover with an objective of developing and demonstrating

new technologies required for Inter planetary missions.

The Lander will have the capability to soft land at a specified lunar site and

deploy the Rover which will carry out in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar

surface during the course of its mobility.

The Lander and the Rover have scientific payloads to carry out experiments

on the lunar surface. The PM will carry the lander and rover from injection

orbit to till 100 km lunar orbit.

The main function of PM is to carry the LM from launch vehicle injection

orbit to till Lander separation.

Apart from this, the Propulsion Module also has one scientific payload as

a value addition which will be operated post separation of Lander Module.

The mission sequence has ten phases. The first is Earth Centric Phase

(Phase-1) that contained pre-launch phase, launch and ascent phase

and earth-bound manoeuvre phase.

The second phase of Lunar Transfer phase–Transfer Trajectory phase–

and the third is Moon Centric Phase which included Lunar Orbit Insertion

Phase, Moon bound manoeuvre phase (Phase-4), PM and Lunar Module

Separation (Phase-5), De-bbost Phase (Phase-6), Pre-landing Phase

(Phase-7), Landing Phase (Phase-8), Normal Phase for Lander and Rover

(Phase-9) and Moon Centric Normal Orbit Phase (100 km Circular Orbit)

–For Propulsion Module (Phase-10).

After the schedule launch on July 14, the landing on the lunar surface would

take place in the last week of August.

“If the launch takes place on that day then we will be ready for landing

on the moon possibly by the last week of August. The date (landing date)

is 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 said.

If the landing does not take place as planned on August 23 or 24, then

ISRO will wait for another month to make a landing attempt in September.

“The lander and the rover will stay on the moon for 14 days until sunlight

is there. When there is no sunlight, a small solar panel which is on the

rover will generate power to charge the battery for the next 14 days until

light comes.

The temperature there goes down to minus 40 degrees and in such an

environment there is no guarantee that the battery and electronics will

survive but we did some tests and we get the feeling that it will survive

even in such harsh conditions,” Mr. Somanath said.

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