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Isro Successfully Launches LVM3 and Puts Chandrayaan-3 into Its Orbit


Understanding the Crisis and Ensuring Safety

Jul 14, 2023

India's space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), achieved a major milestone on Friday with the successful launch of the LVM3 in its fourth operational mission. The launch placed the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft into the intended orbit of 36,500km, marking the country's third lunar mission and its second attempt at soft-landing on the Moon. This remarkable achievement has added to ISRO's confidence after years of meticulous planning. The Prime Minister expressed his admiration for the scientists' dedication, emphasizing that Chandrayaan-3 scripts a new chapter in India's space odyssey. Let's delve deeper into the details of this historic mission. 


Launch and Journey to the Moon 

The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft embarked on its journey to the Moon following a flawless launch of the LVM3 at 2.35 pm on Friday. The mission started from ISRO's Bengaluru centre, where the satellite is under the control of ISTRAC. In the initial phase, the spacecraft will perform multiple Earth-bound manoeuvres over several days until July 31. These manoeuvres will gradually take the spacecraft to an apogee of approximately 1 lakh km, marking the farthest point from Earth. 


Once the Earth-bound operations are complete, the spacecraft will enter the trans-lunar insertion phase, commencing its voyage towards the Moon. After 5.5 days, it is expected to capture the lunar orbit. ISRO will then execute a series of maneuvers to transition the craft into a circular orbit of 100km. In this orbit, the lander module will separate from the spacecraft, followed by adjustments to achieve an elliptical orbit with a closest point to the Moon at approximately 30km. The lander will eventually touch down on the lunar surface, and the rover will be deployed. 


The Scientific Objectives 

Chandrayaan-3 carries an impressive payload of scientific instruments that will significantly contribute to our understanding of the Moon. In addition to the eight payloads from Chandrayaan-2 that have been sending remote-sensing data since 2019, seven new scientific instruments have been added to Chandrayaan-3. These instruments will conduct various studies and experiments. 


One of the payloads will focus on studying moonquakes, providing valuable insights into the geological activities on the lunar surface. Another instrument aims to understand how heat flows through the Moon's surface. Additionally, a payload will investigate the plasma environment surrounding the Moon, while another will precisely measure the distance between Earth and the Moon.


The lander module, Vikram, carries four payloads, including two on the rover called Pragyan. One of the payloads on Pragyan will study the composition of the Moon's surface using X-ray technology, while the other will employ laser technology for analysis. These studies will enhance our knowledge of the Moon's geological composition. 


Exploring Exoplanets and Water Molecules 

ISRO has gone a step further by equipping Chandrayaan-3 with an additional payload. This payload will observe the Earth from the Moon, studying its habitable planet-like features. The data collected will be instrumental in future explorations of exoplanets, which are planets that orbit stars other than the Sun. Scientists have been particularly interested in exoplanets as potential habitats for life.


The landing site chosen for Chandrayaan-3 is near the south pole of the Moon. This region is of great interest due to its numerous permanently shadowed craters, which have the potential to contain water molecules. The presence of water on the Moon was first discovered conclusively by India's Chandrayaan-1 mission, making this landing site even more intriguing. 


The successful launch of the LVM3 and the placement of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft into the intended orbit signify a significant achievement for ISRO. This mission not only continues India's exploration of the Moon but also opens doors to future advancements in lunar and space research. The scientific instruments onboard Chandrayaan-3 will provide valuable data about the Moon's geology, composition, and its potential for supporting life. ISRO's relentless dedication and groundbreaking achievements truly elevate India's space odyssey to new heights.

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