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Chandryaan 3 Enters Lunar Orbit, Aims For Soft-Landing On Moon

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According to the India’s space agency ISRO, Chandrayaan-3, the nation’s most recent Moon mission, has reached the lunar orbit.

On July 14, the spacecraft with an orbiter, lander, and a rover was launched. On August 23 or 24, it will attempt to land the lander and rover on the lunar surface.

If the mission is successful, India will be the first nation to set foot close to the Moon’s little-visited South Pole. After the US, the former Soviet Union, and China, India will be the only other country to successfully do a soft landing on the Moon.

The spacecraft was sent into the translunar orbit on Tuesday by a slingshot operation after orbiting the Earth for more than a week. Chandrayaan-3, the third lunar exploration mission in India’s project, is anticipated to expand on the contributions of its predecessors.

It was launched 13 years after the India’s initial Moon mission in 2008, which showed that the Moon has an atmosphere during the daylight and that there are water molecules on its dry surface.

The July 2019 launch of Chandrayaan-2, which also included an orbiter, a lander, and a rover, was only partially successful. Even now, the orbiter is still circling and studying the Moon, but the lander-rover crashed upon touchdown since it was unable to make a soft landing. Sreedhara Panicker Somanath, the head of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), claimed they had carefully examined the data from the disaster and conducted modelling exercises to rectify the flaws in Chandrayaan-3, which weighs 3,900kg and cost 6.1bn rupees ($75m).

The 26kg rover, named Pragyaan, which is Sanskrit for “wisdom,” is carried inside the lander, which is named Vikram after the founder of Isro and weighs roughly 1,500kg.

Isro tweeted that the spacecraft had finished orbiting the Earth and was moving towards the Moon. It read, “A successful perigee-firing performed at Isro has injected the spacecraft into the translunar orbit. Next stop: the Moon.” Perigee refers to the point in the orbit closest to the Earth.

Scientists will start progressively reducing the rocket’s speed now that the ship has entered the Moon’s orbit in order to bring it to a location that will enable a soft landing for Vikram.

The six-wheeled rover will land, eject, and wander across the Moon’s surface collecting vital information and photographs that will be transmitted back to Earth for examination.

Somanath said, “The rover is carrying five instruments which will focus on finding out about the physical characteristics of the surface of the Moon, the atmosphere close to the surface and the tectonic activity to study what goes on below the surface. I’m hoping we’ll find something new.”

The south pole of the Moon is still mostly unexplored, and because it has a larger surface area that is always in shadow than the north pole, scientists believe that there may be water present there.

There is increasing interest in the Moon on a global scale, not just in India. Additionally, experts claim there is still much to learn about the Moon, which is frequently referred to as a portal to deep space.

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