Chandrayaan MissionπŸš€: India’s Journey to the Moon

Launching Site

The world has been fascinated and inspired by India’s Chandrayaan missions, a series of ground-breaking space projects. These missions, led by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), have highlighted India’s capability in space exploration, scientific research, and technical innovation. Explore the amazing accomplishments of Chandrayaan 1, 2, and the next Chandrayaan 3 as we set off on a cosmic voyage.

🌌 Mission Objectives 🎯

Orbital Mapping: To create detailed 3D maps of the lunar surface, identifying elements and minerals on the Moon.
Study Lunar Atmosphere: To study the tenuous exosphere of the Moon and its variations.
Search for Water: To search for water molecules on the lunar surface, particularly near the polar regions.
Technological Demonstration: To showcase India’s technological capabilities in space exploration.

πŸš€ Launch and Journey πŸ›°οΈ

Chandrayaan-1 Mission πŸŒŒπŸš€

Chandrayaan-1 was an ambitious lunar mission designed to study the Moon from orbit, providing detailed insights into its surface, mineral composition, and presence of water molecules. The mission aimed to map the Moon’s topography and create a 3D atlas, helping scientists gain a better understanding of the lunar environment.

πŸš€ Launch: On October 22, 2008, the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft embarked on its voyage to the Moon, riding atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C11).

πŸ›°οΈ Lunar Orbit: Chandrayaan-1 successfully entered into lunar orbit on November 8, 2008, and commenced its scientific observations.

πŸ” Discovering Water on the Moon: One of the mission’s most significant achievements was the discovery of water molecules on the Moon’s surface, challenging prior assumptions about Earth’s celestial companion.

πŸŒ— Lunar Impact Probe: Chandrayaan-1 deployed a lunar impact probe, which impacted the Moon’s surface on November 14, 2008, further contributing to our understanding of the lunar crust.

Chandrayaan-1
Image Sourcerediff.com

Chandrayaan-2 Mission πŸŒŒπŸš€

Chandrayaan 2 was a multifaceted mission with a comprehensive agenda. Its primary goal was to explore the lunar south pole region, a terrain that had never been explored before. The mission comprised three key components – the orbiter, the lander named Vikram, and the rover named Pragyan. Together, they formed a cohesive unit to conduct detailed investigations of the Moon’s surface and analyze its composition.

πŸš€ Launch: Chandrayaan 2 was launched on July 22, 2019, aboard the GSLV Mk III-M1 rocket, propelling it on its ambitious lunar journey.

πŸŒ— Lunar Orbit: The orbiter component of the mission successfully entered the Moon’s orbit, where it continues to operate and conduct valuable remote sensing observations.

🌘 Lunar Descent: The lander, Vikram, embarked on a nail-biting descent to the lunar surface, marking a crucial phase of the mission.

πŸŒ– The Unfortunate Glitch: Despite meticulous planning and preparation, the lander lost communication during its descent, leading to a tense moment of uncertainty.

πŸ›°οΈ The Enduring Orbiter: While the lander faced challenges, the orbiter component of Chandrayaan 2 has been a resounding success, providing essential data and imagery of the Moon.

πŸ”¬ Scientific Contributions: Even though the rover Pragyan couldn’t complete its mission on the lunar surface, the orbiter’s scientific instruments continue to yield valuable insights into lunar geology and mineralogy.

Chandrayaan-2
Image Sourcethehitavada.com

Chandrayaan-3 Mission πŸŒŒπŸš€

India’s Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 to demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface. It consists of Lander and Rover configuration.
The launch of Chandrayaan-3 took place on 14 July 2023, at 2:35 pm IST by LVM3 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota and lunar injection of 100 km circular polar orbit was completed successfully as part of phase one. The lander and rover are landed to land near the lunar south pole region on 23 August 2023, making India the 4th country to successfully land on the Moon, and the first country to do so near the lunar south pole of the moon.

On 3 September the lander hopped and repositioned itself 30–40 cm (12–16 in) from its landing site. After the completion of its mission objectives, it was hoped that the lander and rover would revive for extra tasks, on 22 September 2023, but missed the wake-up call. On September 30, the second lunar night began, eliminating hopes of revival. On the other hand, Propulsion module returned to Earth’s orbit on 22 November 2023 after exiting lunar orbit via a series of maneuvers starting from 9 October 2023.

The goals of Chandrayaan-3’s mission are:

To show Safe and Soft Landing on the Surface of the Moon
To showcase roving lunar rover technology
to carry out in-situ scientific research.

Several cutting-edge technologies, including those listed below, are present in Lander to help with mission goals.

Altimeters: Altimeters based on RF and laser
Velocimeters: Lander Horizontal Velocity & Laser Doppler Velocimeter Camera
The measurement of inertia Inertial referencing and accelerometer package based on laser gyros
Propulsion Mechanism: Throttleable Engine Control Electronics, 800N Throttleable Liquid Engines, and 58N Attitude Thrusters
NGC: Navigation, Guidance, and Control Design (NGC) for Powered Descent Trajectory and related software components
Hazard Detection and Avoidance : Identifying and avoiding hazards Hazard Detection & Avoidance for Landers Landing Leg Mechanism for the Camera and Processing Algorithm.

Lithology-Based Infrared Spectrometer (LIBS): This instrument analyzed the lunar surface, providing valuable insights into its composition and history.
Automatic Planetary Exploration X-ray Spectrometer (APEXS): This instrument identified and quantified the chemical elements present in the lunar soil and rocks, shedding light on the Moon’s geological history and resource potential.

Chandrayaan 3
Image Sourcetwitter.com

Achievements of Chandrayaan-3

The Chandrayaan-3 mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has made the following achievements:
>First country to land near the Moon’s south pole
>Fourth country to land on the Moon
>Continuously analyzes the Moon’s south pole
>Conducted in-situ experiments on the Moon’s surface

The Chandrayaan-3 mission has made the below achievements on moon’s surface:

  1. Temperature variation: Vikram lander drilled into the lunar surface, revealing temperatures 8 centimetres beneath the surface. It found that these temperatures showed a difference of 60 degree Celsius compared to surface temperatures
  2. Sulphur’s presence on the Moon: Chandrayaan-3’s Pragyan rover found the presence of Sulphur on the lunar surface in the south pole region. In addition, the rover’s instruments also detected various elements on the Moon’s surface – aluminum, silicon, calcium, and iron. The discovery of these elements will help scientists develop a better understanding of lunar geochemistry.
  3. Seismic measurements (Moonquake detection): The Vikram lander’s seismograph managed to record a short but significant seismic event, lasting about 4 seconds. This event could either be a minor “moonquake” or the result of a small meteorite impact, offering scientists insight into Moon’s geological activity.
  4. Lunar plasma measurement: On 31 August, ISRO released plasma density data from the RAMBHA Instrument aboard the Vikram lander.
  5. Vikram’s hop: Vikram lander performed a “hop experiment” before it was put to sleep in early September. According to ISRO, Vikram was “commanded to fire its engines, it rose up by about 40cm and landed at a distance of 30-40cm.” ISRO claimed that this means the spacecraft could be used to bring samples back to earth in the future.

🌏 Global Collaboration 🌍

Space exploration is not bound by national borders, and the Chandrayaan missions exemplify the spirit of international cooperation. ISRO collaborated with various global space agencies, exchanging knowledge and expertise to make these missions a success. Such cooperation fosters peaceful exploration and enriches humanity’s understanding of the cosmos.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Chandrayaan missions represent a shining example of India’s space achievements and the pursuit of knowledge beyond our planet.
Beyond a mission, Chandrayaan-3 is an ode to the human soul. It’s a tale of aspiration, inventiveness, and the unwavering will to discover new things. Its success has sparked a generation’s interest for space exploration in addition to improving our understanding of the Moon. Future generations will be motivated to reach for the stars and solve the secrets of the cosmos by the success of Chandrayaan-3, which will reverberate for years to come as India continues its trek through the heavens.

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