Chandrayaan-3 is the third and most recent lunar exploration mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It was launched on 14 July 2023 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India. The spacecraft consists of a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyan, similar to Chandrayaan-2, but does not have an orbiter. Its propulsion module behaves like a communication relay satellite.
The main objective of Chandrayaan-3 is to soft land the Vikram lander and deploy the Pragyan rover on the lunar surface. The lander will carry out a series of experiments to study the lunar surface, including its composition, mineralogy, and seismology. The rover will also conduct experiments to study the lunar surface, as well as to collect and analyze lunar samples.
Chandrayaan-3 is a stepping stone towards ISRO’s future interplanetary missions. The key idea is technology demonstration of crucial capability to soft land on lunar surface safely that the earlier mission could not achieve.
The mission was successful in entering lunar orbit on 22 July 2023. The lander and rover were successfully separated from the propulsion module on 23 July 2023. The lander touched down on the lunar surface on 24 August 2023, at the South Pole region of the Moon. The rover was deployed from the lander on 25 August 2023.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission is a major milestone for ISRO and for India’s space program. It demonstrates India’s capabilities in space exploration and paves the way for future missions to the Moon and beyond.
Here are some of the key differences between Chandrayaan-2 and Chandrayaan-3:
- Chandrayaan-3 does not have an orbiter.
- Chandrayaan-3 has a separate Lander module (LM), Propulsion module (PM), and a Rover.
- Chandrayaan-3 is not equipped with a high-resolution camera.
- Chandrayaan-3 is not equipped with a laser altimeter.
Overall, Chandrayaan-3 is a smaller and more focused mission than Chandrayaan-2. However, it is still a significant achievement for ISRO and for India’s space program.