India’s ambitious lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, is set to continue the nation’s exploration of the Moon. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up for its anticipated mission, with a scheduled landing on August 23. Since America’s Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the Moon, followed by unmanned missions, lunar exploration has become a challenge, and studying the Moon’s history and its role in Earth and the cosmos has become a focal point for scientists.
Chandrayaan-3, following Chandrayaan-2’s unsuccessful landing attempt four years ago, aims to land safely on the Moon’s surface. The mission consists of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. The primary focus of Chandrayaan-3 is to achieve a safe landing on the Moon’s surface. Lessons learned from Chandrayaan-2’s shortcomings have driven improvements in algorithms and technology to enhance landing accuracy.
The mission was launched on July 14 from the Sriharikota Center, with a scheduled landing on the Moon’s surface on August 23. If successful, this mission will establish India as the fourth country in the world to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, following the United States, Russia, and China.
Why Explore the Moon?
Chandrayaan-3 will be India’s third lunar mission, joining the ranks of the Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2 missions. Lunar missions, despite various national and private space agencies having undertaken or planned them, have encountered challenges and unmet expectations. This is why exploring the Moon remains a formidable task.
According to NASA, the Moon holds clues to Earth’s early history and development that have vanished due to geological processes on Earth. Sending missions to the Moon will provide scientists with insights into Earth’s formation and solar system evolution, and may reveal the role of minor impacts in shaping Earth’s history and potentially affecting its future.
The Moon serves as a testing ground for advanced technologies, flight capabilities, life support systems, and research techniques to reduce risks and increase productivity in future missions, ultimately contributing to humanity’s exploration of distant planets and regions of our solar system.
What Does Lunar Exploration Offer?
Traveling to the Moon will provide humans with their first experience of living and working on another celestial body. It will allow us to test advanced materials and equipment under extreme conditions of space temperature and radiation. Humans will learn how to optimally use robots to assist in tasks, explore remote locations, and gather information in hazardous areas.
NASA believes that establishing a sustainable human presence on the Moon will enable us to enhance life on Earth and prepare for further missions to other parts of our solar system. As we set up operations on the Moon and beyond, we will develop new technologies, applications, and resources. Ultimately, by establishing outposts on the Moon, we will enable people and researchers to expand exploration and habitation to other planets and moons in our solar system.