Chandrayaan-3

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    In News

    • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has recently confirmed that the lander of Chandrayaan-3 has completed the crucial EMI-EMC test.

    About

    • Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third moon mission and is slated to be launched later this year by Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LMV3) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
    • The lander of the mission has recently successfully completed the crucial EMI-EMC (Electro – Magnetic Interference/ Electro – Magnetic Compatibility) test at the U.R. Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru.
    • The test has ensured the functionality of the satellite subsystems in the space environment and their compatibility with the expected electromagnetic levels.

    Chandrayaan-3 Mission

    • The Chandrayaan-3 is an interplanetary mission which has three major modules: the Propulsion module, Lander module, and Rover.
    • The mission’s complexity calls for establishing radio-frequency (RF) communication links between the modules.
    • During the Chandrayaan-3 lander EMI/EC test, Launcher compatibility, Antenna Polarization of all RF systems, Standalone auto compatibility tests for orbital and powered descent mission phases, and Lander & Rover compatibility tests for post landing mission phase were ensured.

    Key Issues

    • High mission complexity: Chandrayaan-3 is a complex interplanetary mission that involves several modules, including the Propulsion module, Lander module, and Rover whose successful execution requires seamless communication between these modules.
    • Technical issues: The previous Chandrayaan-2 mission had encountered technical glitches during its landing attempt and thus, the Chandrayaan-3 mission may require additional technical advancements, such as improving the navigation and landing systems.
    • Stringent timelines: Chandrayaan-3’s launch timeline is crucial, as it needs to be launched during the lunar launch window, which occurs once every month and any delays in the mission may result in rescheduling the launch, which could cause additional costs and further delays.
    • COVID-19 Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the global supply chain and caused significant delays in the manufacturing and testing of space equipment which may lead to further delays in the mission.

    Chandrayaan Mission

    • About: Chandrayaan is India’s lunar exploration program consisting of a series of robotic missions that aims to explore the Moon and its resources. 
    • Elite league: It puts India in the coveted league of being only the 4th country in the world after the United States, Russia and China to have successfully landed on the moon.
    • Missions:
      • Chandrayaan-1 mission 
        • It was launched in October 2008 and it orbited the Moon and performed a number of scientific experiments and observations.
        • It was India’s first lunar mission and the first to discover water on the Moon.
        • Involved an orbiter and an impactor, both built by Isro
        • It was launched by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and made more than 3,400 orbits around the Moon.
        • It carried 11 scientific instruments on board, five of which were Indian while the others were from the European Space Agency (ESA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
        • It was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009.
      • Chandrayaan-2 mission 
        • It was launched in July 2019, and involves an orbiter, a lander (Vikram), and a rover (Pragyaan), all built by ISRO.
        • It was India’s first to attempt a soft landing near the south pole of the Moon.
        • It was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh by the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III.
        • It aimed to land the Vikram lander on the lunar surface and deploy the Pragyaan rover.
        • It carried eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and studying the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon.
        • It’s lander Vikram crashed into the lunar surface apparently because of an issue with its braking rockets.
      • Chandrayaan-3 mission 
        • It is planned for launch by the end of 2023
        • It is expected to cost around 615 crore INR ($82 million USD).and aims to land a rover on the Moon’s surface.

    Importance for India

    • Chandrayaan has put India on the map as a major player in space exploration, showcasing the country’s scientific and technological capabilities.
    • The mission has helped India gain valuable knowledge and experience in space exploration, which can be applied to other fields, such as satellite technology and space tourism.
    • The discovery of water on the Moon by Chandrayaan-1 has opened up new possibilities for space exploration and resource utilization, including the potential for future lunar colonies and space mining.
    • The mission has also inspired the younger generation to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, thereby contributing to the country’s overall development.

    Way ahead

    • Chandrayaan missions are significant achievements for India, which has demonstrated the country’s capabilities in space exploration and opened up new possibilities for future research and development.

     Source: TH