Moon Mission: India’s latest moon mission, Chandrayaan-3, enters moon orbit.

Today, the Chandrayaan-3 mission achieved a crucial milestone with the successful completion of the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI). The insertion was carried out by retro-burning at the Perilune for 1835 seconds, starting at 19:12 Hrs IST

Recently, India launched a new mission in the moon’s orbit called Chandrayaan-3. It was said that the satellite would be the first to be launched in the southern part of the moon.

Now that the craft entered the Moon’s orbit, scientists will begin reducing the rocket’s speed gradually to bring it to a point which will allow a soft landing for Vikram.

The robotic vehicle is named as ‘Pragyan’, which translates to ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit. The six-wheeled vehicle has instruments configured with payloads to provide data related to the Moon’s surface. It will gather data on the elemental composition of the atmosphere. It weighs 26 kgs and like the lander, has a mission life of one lunar day. 

Indian Agency conformed that Chandrayaan-3 reached the moon’s orbit successfully and took an image of the south pole. The images show craters on lunar surface getting larger and larger as the spacecraft draws closer.

The south pole of the Moon is still largely unexplored – the surface area that remains in shadow there is much larger than that of the Moon’s north pole, and scientists say it means there is a possibility of water in areas that are permanently shadowed.

So, the rover has roll off Vikram and explore the nearby lunar area, gathering images to be sent back to Earth for analysis.

If the rest of the current mission goes to plan, the mission will safely touch down near the moon’s little-explored south pole between August 23 and 24. If successful, India will be the first country to perform a controlled “soft landing” near the south pole. As It has also pointed out that “this is the third time in succession that Isro has successfully injected a spacecraft into the lunar orbit”.

It will also become only the fourth to achieve a soft landing on the Moon after the US, the former Soviet Union and China.

Experts say, India can keep costs low by copying and adapting existing space technology, and thanks to an abundance of highly skilled engineers who earn a fraction of their foreign counterparts’ wages.

India is also working to boost its 2 percent share of the global commercial space market by sending private payloads into orbit for a fraction of the cost of competitors.

The ISRO’s Gaganyaan (Sanskrit for sky craft) programme is slated to launch a three-day manned mission into Earth’s orbit by next year.

Scientists say Chandrayaan-3, the third in India’s programme of lunar exploration, is expected to build on the success of its earlier Moon missions.

Chandrayaan-2 – which also comprised an orbiter, a lander and a rover – was launched in July 2019 but it was only partially successful. Its orbiter continues to circle and study the Moon even today, but the lander-rover failed to make a soft landing and crashed during touchdown.

It comes 13 years after the country’s first Moon mission in 2008, which discovered the presence of water molecules on the parched lunar surface and established that the Moon has an atmosphere during daytime.

The space agency has also put out the video with a caption “Chandrayaan-3 Mission: The Moon, as viewed by Chandrayaan-3 during Lunar Orbit Insertion”.

The video showed the Moon in bluish green colour with many craters.

The video was released hours before the second major manoeuvre which is to take place on late Sunday night.

“Our rockets (launch vehicles) are not very powerful. Once the rockets escape the earth, they need a velocity of 11.2 km/s to make further progress. Since our launch vehicles don’t operate at such velocity, we resorted to the sling-slot mechanism,” ISRO scientist Tapan Mishra told ANI. 

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