India has etched its name in the annals of the space history by achieving a remarkable feat – the soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 Lander on the Moon’s surface on 23 August 2023 at 6.04 pm. With this, India became the fourth nation in the world to land on the lunar surface and the first to land on the southern pole of the moon. The Chandrayaan-3 mission commenced its voyage to the Moon on 14 July 2023, carrying a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyan.

Somanath, the Chairman of ISRO stated “The success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission instills confidence in us to design missions not only for lunar exploration but also for venturing to Mars, even envisaging possible landings on Mars.”

Chandrayaan-3 serves as a sequential extension of Chandrayaan-2, aimed at showcasing the complete process of secure landing and traversing on the lunar terrain.

Chandrayaan was launched by LVM3 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota on 14 July 2023. The propulsion module carries the Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) instrument, designed for the spectral and polarimetric study of Earth from lunar orbit.

Both the Lander and the Rover carry scientific instruments for experiments on the lunar surface. The Propulsion Module plays the role of escorting the Lander Module (LM) from launch vehicle deployment until it attains a final lunar orbit of 100 km, subsequently disengaging from the LM.

The mission objectives of Chandrayaan-3 include:

  1. Demonstrating a safe and gentle landing on the lunar surface.
  2. Displaying the mobility of the Rover on the Moon.
  3. Executing in-situ scientific investigations.

A number of Indian private companies joined hands with ISRO to make Chandrayaan-3 a success story. In the days to come, private participation in India’s space mission is expected to increase.

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