Chandrayaan 3: India’s Next Lunar Mission

Chandrayaan 3 is the highly anticipated third lunar mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Building upon the successes and lessons learned from Chandrayaan 2, this mission aims to further India’s scientific advancements and contribute to our understanding of the Moon.

On July 5, ISRO tweeted: Today, at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, the encapsulated assembly containing Chandrayaan-3 is mated with LVM3.

ISRO has, so far, not announced the date of the launch. However, the launch window for the Chandrayaan-3 is between July 12 and 19.

Chandrayaan 3

Previous Chandrayaan mission conducted by ISRO before Chandrayaan 3 

Chandrayaan 1 and 2 are two significant lunar missions conducted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Let’s explore each mission in more detail:

Chandrayaan 1:

Chandrayaan 1 was India’s first lunar mission, launched on October 22, 2008. The mission aimed to orbit the Moon and conduct scientific experiments to enhance our understanding of Earth’s celestial neighbor. Here are some key highlights of Chandrayaan 1:

  • Objectives: Chandrayaan 1 had multiple objectives, including mapping the lunar surface, studying the Moon’s mineralogy and elemental composition, investigating the presence of water ice in the polar regions, and searching for signs of helium-3, a potential future fuel source.
  • Payloads: The spacecraft carried 11 scientific payloads, including the Moon Impact Probe (MIP), which was released and intentionally crash-landed on the lunar surface to analyze the lunar soil. It also included instruments such as the Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC), Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), and Chandrayaan-1 Imaging X-ray Spectrometer (C1XS).
  • Discoveries: Chandrayaan 1 made several significant discoveries, including evidence of water molecules on the lunar surface and the mapping of the Moon’s topography, mineralogy, and chemical composition. These findings contributed to our understanding of the Moon’s geological evolution.

Chandrayaan 2:

Chandrayaan 2 was India’s second lunar mission, launched on July 22, 2019. The mission aimed to soft-land a lander and a rover on the lunar surface to conduct scientific investigations. Although the landing attempt faced challenges and the lander (Vikram) experienced a hard landing, the orbiter component of Chandrayaan 2 is still operational and continues to provide valuable data. Here are the key aspects of Chandrayaan 2:

  • Objectives: Chandrayaan 2 aimed to study the lunar surface’s topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of water ice. It also aimed to demonstrate the country’s capability to soft-land on the Moon.
  • Components: The mission consisted of an orbiter, a lander (Vikram), and a rover (Pragyan). The orbiter component continues to orbit the Moon, gathering scientific data and transmitting it back to Earth.
  • Payloads: The orbiter carried eight scientific payloads, including instruments to study the Moon’s surface, atmosphere, and ionosphere. The lander and rover had instruments to study the lunar soil and the environment near the landing site.
  • Discoveries and Impact: Despite the challenges faced during the landing phase, Chandrayaan 2 provided valuable data and images of the lunar surface. The orbiter component continues to operate successfully, gathering crucial information about the Moon’s composition, topography, and other scientific parameters.

Both Chandrayaan 1 and Chandrayaan 2 have significantly contributed to India’s space exploration endeavors and have advanced our understanding of the Moon’s geology, mineralogy, and potential resources. These missions have showcased India’s technological capabilities and strengthened international collaboration in lunar research.

Chandrayaan 3:

Chandrayaan 3 is a follow-up mission to Chandrayaan 2, which aimed to soft-land a lander and rover on the lunar surface. The primary objective of Chandrayaan 3 is to successfully accomplish a soft landing on the Moon and conduct scientific experiments to enhance our understanding of Earth’s natural satellite.

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 inter-planetary missions.

chandrayaan 3
Here are some key details and features of Chandrayaan 3 based on the available information:

Soft Landing: Similar to Chandrayaan 2, Chandrayaan 3 will focus on achieving a successful soft landing on the lunar surface. This involves carefully navigating and controlling the lander’s descent to ensure a controlled touchdown.

Payloads: Chandrayaan 3 is expected to carry scientific instruments and payloads to conduct experiments on the lunar surface. The exact details of these payloads have not been disclosed publicly at the time of my knowledge cutoff.

Technological Advancements: Chandrayaan 3 will likely build upon the technological advancements and lessons learned from Chandrayaan 2. ISRO will strive to improve the mission’s design, systems, and overall performance based on the experiences and data gathered from the previous mission.

Objectives: The specific scientific objectives of Chandrayaan 3 have not been revealed in detail. However, they are expected to align with the broader goals of lunar exploration, such as studying the Moon’s geology, mineralogy, the presence of water ice, and furthering our understanding of the Moon’s evolution.

Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third moon mission, and is a follow-up to Chandrayaan-2, to demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface.

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