Chandrayaan 3

Context: Recently, ISRO chairman said that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will begin a fresh bid to land a rover on the moon in the middle of July this year through the launch of the Chandrayaan-3 mission. What is Chandrayaan-3?
  • Chandrayaan-3 is the third lunar exploration mission planned by ISRO.
  • Objective: 
    • To explore the far side of the Moon.
    • The primary will be to demonstrate soft landing capability on the Moon.
  • Chandra Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE): It will measure the thermal conductivity and temperature, while the Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) will measure the seismicity around the landing site.
  • Instruments used: 
    • Langmuir Probe (LP): It will estimate the plasma density and its variations and a passive Laser Retroreflector Array from NASA is accommodated on the mission for lunar laser ranging studies.
    • Lander and Rover: The Lander will have the capability to soft land at a specified lunar site and deploy the Rover which will carry out in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface during the course of its mobility.
    • Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth’ (SHAPE): SHAPE will analyse Earth’s spectrum to generate data on habitable exoplanets, contributing to the study of exoplanetary habitability and the search for potential life beyond our Solar System.
How has Chandrayaan-3 improved upon Chandrayaan-2?
  • Simplified payload:
    • Unlike Chandrayaan-2, which comprised the Vikram lander, Pragyan rover, and an orbiter, Chandrayaan-3 will be equipped with a lander and a rover only.
    • The existing orbiter launched with Chandrayaan-2 will be utilised for communication and terrain mapping requirements during the mission.
    • While Chandrayaan-2’s orbiter carried nine in-situ instruments, Chandrayaan-3’s propulsion module will house a single instrument called ‘spectro-polarimetry of habitable planet earth’ (SHAPE).
  • Enhanced lander capabilities:
    • Chandrayaan-3 incorporates ‘lander hazard detection & avoidance cameras’ to assist in coordination with the orbiter and mission control during the lander’s descent to the lunar surface.
    • Chandrayaan-3 will feature two such cameras compared to the single camera on its predecessor.
Additional Information: About Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2 Mission:
  • Chandrayaan-1 was launched in 2008, whereas Chandrayaan-2 was launched in 2019. 
  • Both were launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
  • Chandrayaan-1 made more than 3400 orbits around the moon and was operational for 312 days till 29 August, 2019.
    • The mission life of Chandrayaan-2 orbiter was one year and Lander and Rover was one Lunar Day, that is 14 earth days.
  • Chandrayaan-1 was launched by India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C11. 
    • Chandrayaan-2 was launched by GSLV MK-III M1 launch vehicle.
  • Achievements: 
    1. Chandrayaan-1 discovered some traces of water on the moon. Also, in the North polar region of the Moon, Chandrayaan-1 discovered water ice.
    2. Some minerals on the surface of the Moon like magnesium, aluminium and silicon were also detected.
    3. The discovery of Chromium and Manganese on the lunar surface and a variability of the Argon-40 at the middle and higher latitudes of the Moon was identified by Chandrayaan-2.
 Source: Business Standard 

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