India has landed its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the moon’s south pole, becoming only the fourth country to do so. With the quick landing, India became the first country to reach the moon’s south pole.
WHAT IS INDIA’S CHANDRAYAAN-3 MISSION?
The Chandrayaan-3 is aiming for the lunar south pole, which contains water ice, or frozen water, and could provide oxygen, fuel, and water for future moon missions or a more permanent moon colony.
If it lands successfully, the Chandrayaan-3 will undertake a variety of experiments, including a spectrometer investigation of the mineral composition of the lunar surface, for two weeks.
The Chandrayaan-3 lander is around 2 metres tall and weighs little over 1,700 kg (3,747.86 lb), which is comparable to an SUV. It is intended to launch a smaller, 26-kg lunar rover.
NASA administrator Bill Nelson told Reuters that the U.S. space agency was “looking forward” to what would be learned from the Indian mission.
When did it Launch?
On July 14, India’s primary space port in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh launched the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
It has since looped through progressively wider-ranging Earth orbits, transferred to a lunar orbit, and emerged as a source of national pride and global curiosity following Russia’s failed attempt to land on the moon’s south pole.
What happened to Isro’s Earlier moon landing attempt?
In 2019, India’s previous effort to land on the lunar south pole failed.
The orbiter of Chandrayaan-2 was successfully deployed, but its lander and rover were destroyed in a crash near where Chandrayaan-3 would attempt to land.
One of the obstacles for a South Pole landing is rough terrain. ISRO scientists claim they have made changes that increase the likelihood of the current mission landing successfully. This features a mechanism for expanding the possible landing zone. The lander has also been outfitted with extra fuel and stronger impact legs.
Over the weekend, Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft crashed into the moon, ending the country’s first moon trip in 47 years.
In April, ispace (9348.T), a private Japanese space firm, attempted but failed to land on the moon.