Historic space mission: India's Chandrayaan-3 flies to the moon, first images emerge

August 8, 2023  10:15

The Indian spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 entered the lunar orbit on August 5 and has already sent the first pictures of the surface of the Moon. The lander and rover Chandrayaan-3 will reach the surface of our planet's satellite on August 23. If successful, India will become the first country to make a controlled "soft landing" near the South Pole of the Moon, according to BBC.

Specialists from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced that all Chandrayaan-3 systems are operating as normal. It should be noted that Indian specialists have successfully launched a spacecraft into lunar orbit for the third time.

The road to this point has been long and busy. The first lunar station mission, Chandrayaan-1, was successfully launched in 2008. The second, Chandrayaan-2, launched in 2019 and also planned to deliver the Pragyaan lunar rover to the lunar surface using the Vikram lander, but they failed.

Isro chief Sridhara Paniker Somanath said India's space agency had taken a close look at the crash data and conducted simulation exercises to fix the crashes in Chandrayaan-3, which weighs 3,900 kg and costs about $75 million. The lander (named Vikram, after founder Isro) weighs about 1,500 kg and, like the previous mission, carries the 26-kilogram Pragyaan rover, which means "wisdom" in Sanskrit.

Pragyaan is equipped with five instruments designed to study the physical characteristics of the lunar surface, the atmosphere near the surface, and even the tectonic activity that occurs below it.

After performing several maneuvers, the station will be lowered to orbit above the lunar pole, and on August 23, an attempt to land a module with a lunar rover in the region of the South Pole of the Moon is planned. According to the schedule, the mission of the Pragyaan lunar rover will last 14 Earth days.

This mission is an important step in lunar exploration, as if successful, India will become the fourth country in the world to soft-land a spacecraft on the Moon, after the United States, the former Soviet Union and China, and, as already noted, the first country to make a controlled "soft landing" near the South Pole.

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