Chandrayaan-3: what is the Indian mission to the Moon?


Chandrayaan-3: what is the Indian mission to the Moon?

CHANDRAYAAN-3. As the Indian probe landed smoothly on the South Pole of the Moon yesterday, what will be the schedule of its mission now?

[Updated Aug 24, 2023 12:55 PM] India's lunar mission dubbed Chandrayaan-3 successfully delivered a lander and a small rover to the surface of the Moon's south pole yesterday, Wednesday, August 23, making India the 4th nation to land on our natural satellite and the first to achieve the feat of doing so on the rugged area that is its South Pole, three days after the Russian failure of Luna 25. "The rover of Chandrayaan-3 descended from the lander and India walked on the Moon!" Account X (Twitter) of ISRO, India's space agency, announced on Wednesday.

A region less explored than the North Pole, the South Pole of the Moon would house water in the form of ice, an essential resource for setting up a permanent base on the star. Time is now running out for Chandrayaan-3, as it was designed for a one-day lunar mission only, or two Earth weeks on the surface of the Moon.

On the one hand, its lander named Vikram must study the surface of the Moon, its seismic and thermal characteristics, its geology as well as the gases that make up its meager atmosphere. On the other hand, the Pragyan rover focuses its efforts on studying the composition of the soil from a chemical and mineralogical point of view.

Finally, the Chandrayaan-3 mission is of strategic importance since it is India's first lunar mission and has enabled this country to become the 4th nation to land a probe on our natural satellite. It thus joins the United States, Russia and China in the very private circle of powers that have landed on the Moon. The Chandrayaan-3 mission rover must first demonstrate that India is capable of achieving "safe lunar surface travel", the ISRO website reads.

Chandrayaan-3 is a space probe designed by the Indian space agency, ISRO, which was launched on July 14, 2023. Consisting of a lander that landed smoothly on the surface of the Moon and a a rover that descended from the landing module using an inclined ramp, this probe must meet several objectives and mark the entry of India among the nations to have landed a craft on the Moon.

For the landing of the Chandrayaan-3 probe, ISRO has selected a site that lies between the craters Manzinus C and Simpelius N. This place is located not far from the South Pole of the Moon, a very rugged region dotted with craters and reliefs where the maneuver is particularly difficult to carry out. Before reaching its landing zone, the probe made several orbits around the Moon and then began its descent.

As the space probe circled the moon before landing, Chandrayaan-3 captured a series of snapshots released by the Indian space agency using its on-board camera. We can see the hidden face of the Moon and its many craters: