April 24, 2024

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Bahabali rocket, with a 100% success rate, to send Chandrayaan-3 to the moon

Bahabali rocket, with a 100% success rate, to send Chandrayaan-3 to the moon

Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third mission to the moon.

New Delhi:

India’s ‘Baahubali’ rocket stands tall on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh state, waiting to lift India’s Chandrayaan-3 satellite towards the moon. It is an important experiment to master the soft landing on a celestial body, and if all goes well, India’s third lunar flight will begin on Friday (July 14) at 2.35pm.

In Indian folklore, the moon is often referred to as “Chanda mama– Loving Uncle In other cultures, Artemis is the personification of the Moon as a female goddess. Mission Chandrayaan is India’s original effort to reach the moon, the Artemis program is America’s effort to return to the moon in the 21st century. It may come as a surprise, but India’s Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 seems to have moved the United States from nearly fifty years to the moon, and the ambitious Artemis program in 2018 was born.

Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third mission to the moon, and a satellite weighing 3,921 kilograms will be lifted on its nearly four kilometer long journey. The upgraded Baahubali rocket, now renamed the Mark 3 (LM-3) launch vehicle, weighs 642 tons, which is equivalent to the combined weight of about 130 full-grown Asian elephants. It is a gigantic missile measuring 43.5 meters high, more than half the height of the 72-meter-high Qutub Minar.

This will be the sixth flight of the missile to achieve a 100 percent success rate to date. Hence, hopes are high about the successful take-off from the Indian spaceport.

Chandrayaan-3 is essentially an audacious science mission that aims to successfully demonstrate a soft landing near the moon’s south pole. Also carrying seven scientific instruments, Mr. S. Sumanath, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), said that if India is successful, it will become the fourth country after Russia, the United States and China to land on the moon.

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The SUV-sized satellite is essentially a large thrust unit that will propel the Vikram Lander and Pragyaan Rover into lunar orbit. If all goes according to plan, the closest attempt to land on the Moon will be on August 23.

India hopes to conduct an analysis of the lunar soil, walk around the lunar surface, and also record lunar earthquakes.

More importantly, if Chandrayaan-3 is successful, we may see India’s first selfies from the surface of the moon showing the flag of India on the surface of the moon since the Indian robots Vikram and Pragyaan bear the imprints of India’s tricolor. They both put proper cameras in this new age of social media.

India first attempted a mission to the Moon in 2008 with Chandrayaan-1 which was an orbiter, it died about mid-flight but returned with the globally startling discovery that the Moon is not a dry desert. Chandrayaan-1 discovered the presence of water molecules on the moon. It changed the geological history of the Moon once and for all and opened up the tantalizing possibility of human habitation beyond Earth.

It was this discovery that made the United States and NASA wake up from their almost fifty-year-old lunar slumber. Chandrayaan-1 was also a mission of national pride, here India was the captain and all the others – the US, Great Britain and the European Space Agency – were players as India emerged from the embrace of Earth’s gravity for the first time.

In 2019, as a follow-up mission, India attempted Chandrayaan-2. Here an orbiter, lander and rover were lifted to the moon. The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter has achieved unparalleled success and continues to successfully orbit the Moon. Unfortunately, the Vikram lander with the Pragyaan rover in its womb crash-landed on the lunar surface minutes before its landing.

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Dr. M. Annadurai, then head of the Chandrayaan Program at ISRO, said that an untested machine had been sent to the moon and one of the main reasons attributed to the failure was the late insertion of the fifth engine on the lander.

There were also software glitches in the navigation and handling of the stand-alone computer programs. “The level of confidence for soft landing is very high because the Vikram lander has become more robust and many criteria that can lead to failure have been appropriately addressed,” said Mr. Somanath.

Dr Annadurai said the Vikram lander was not subjected to hot tests through real simulations at Chandrayaan-2. Mr Somanath said several test beds simulating the lunar surface had been established and all the “known unknowns” had been dealt with, but cautioned that it was still “rocket science” which had its inherent risks but confirmed that the mid-engine V had been scrapped.

After the Indian soft lander crash in 2019, Israel and Japan also attempted similar soft landings which ended in disappointment.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Joe Biden’s summit meeting in Washington, India recently signed the Artemis Accords, a set of non-binding regulations spearheaded by NASA as it embarks on the multibillion-dollar Artemis program to send the first lady to the moon more than a year from now.

“The Artemis Accords are good for India,” said ISRO’s Dr. Milswamy Annadurai, Indian Moonman who led India to the Moon and Mars. “India’s signing of the Artemis Accords to participate in the exploration of the Moon and Mars alongside the United States and others is a good step forward,” he stressed, adding that international cooperative lunar exploration cannot happen without India.

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“The flag of India is already on the south pole of the moon,” said Dr. Annadurai.

As a result, it was the India-saving moon mission, worth less than $100 million, that opened the eyes of NASA, which had almost forgotten the idea of ​​the moon since 1972, said Dr. Annadurai.

Professor Carl Peters, of Brown University in the US, shared the excitement. “These are exciting times,” said the lead scientist who is credited with discovering the presence of water molecules on the lunar surface using data provided by mobile devices on Chandrayaan-1. The international science and exploration community “The growing Moon has been and always will be our constant companion in this part of the solar system. I am sure the engineers, scientists and students across India, ISRO who have dedicated their hearts and minds to moving the Chandrayaan-3 forward will be rewarded with new knowledge and understanding. I hope the surprises are good.”