Chandrayaan-3 now in last leg of launch prep: Isro | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Chandrayaan-3 now in last leg of launch prep: Isro

Jul 06, 2023 04:31 AM IST

The Chandrayaan programme, also known as the Indian lunar exploration programme, is an ongoing series of outer space missions by Isro.

New Delhi: India’s moon rocket, Chandrayaan-3, is now in the last leg ahead of launch -- the rocket assembly has been completed, the spacecraft has been fully integrated, and payload faring has been achieved successfully -- officials at the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and the department of space said on Wednesday.

According to Isro officials, Chandrayaan-3 is now in the last leg ahead of its launch. (ANI)
According to Isro officials, Chandrayaan-3 is now in the last leg ahead of its launch. (ANI)

A final round of tests will be done before Chandrayaan-3 is assembled on the rocket, the officials said, adding that the launch vehicle is expected to be moved from the vehicle assembly building to the second launchpad by next week.

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“The launch date, which is almost certain, is July 13. But a final announcement is awaited,” a top official aware of the matter said, asking not to be named.

Also Read: ‘Will be able to soft landing on Moon’: ISRO chief on Chandrayaan-3 mission

Isro chairman S Somnath said that the window of launch for India’s third lunar mission continues to be between July 12 and July 19. “We are aiming for the earlier part of this launch window, instead of pushing it to the latter part,” he added.

The Chandrayaan programme, also known as the Indian lunar exploration programme, is an ongoing series of outer space missions by Isro. The first moon rocket, Chandrayaan-1, was launched in 2008, and was successfully inserted into lunar orbit.

Chandrayaan-2 was successfully launched and inserted into lunar orbit in 2019, but its lander made a “hard landing” on the moon’s surface when it deviated from its trajectory while attempting to land on September 6, 2019, due to a software glitch.

Chandrayaan-3 aims to do Chandrayaan-2 could not.

It consists of an indigenous lander module, a propulsion module, and a rover. Its objectives include developing and demonstrating new technologies required for interplanetary missions. 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.

The lander and the rover will have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface.

Chandrayaan-3 will be launched using the Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM-3), which was previously known as the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III) rocket, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The propulsion module will carry the lander and rover configuration till 100km lunar orbit.

In May, the space agency started the assembly process for the payloads for Chandrayaan-3, a move to ensure that the space agency is able to stick to the July launch date, senior officials from the department of space said.

After that, the assembly was completed at Isro’s UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in Bangalore, before it was sent to the Sriharikota space port for the launch. Last week, the agency started the process of encapsulation in the payload fairing.

Ajey Lele, consultant, Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses said that Chandrayaan-3 has adopted a lot of corrective learnings from its preceding mission, which is looking promising.

“In the space sector, no mission can be viewed in isolation. Each mission is a learning from the previous mission and will provide data for the missions to come. During Chandrayaan-2, we could not manage a soft landing as intended. But the learnings from this mission have helped improve the science and technology aspects of Chandrayaan-3, which is extremely important,” Lele said.

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    Soumya Pillai covers environment and traffic in Delhi. A journalist for three years, she has grown up in and with Delhi, which is often reflected in the stories she does about life in the city. She also enjoys writing on social innovations.

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