The 25 hours 30 minute countdown for the launch of the country’s third moon mission Chandrayaan-3 commenced on July 13 at the spaceport in Bengaluru, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
Friday’s lunar expedition follows the 2019 Chandrayaan-2 mission where space scientists are aiming for a soft landing on the surface of the moon. A successful mission would see India enter an elite club of nations achieving such a feat, the others being the United States, China and the former Soviet Union.
“LVM3M4-CHANDRAYAAN-3 MISSION: The countdown leading to the launch tomorrow (Friday- July 14) at 14.35 hrs has commenced,” ISRO said in a social media post.
The space agency will launch Chandrayaan-3 by LVM3 rocket at 2.35 pm on Friday. Updating on the mission, ISRO said that the propellant filling is in progress. The Mission Readiness Review for the launch has already been completed and the board has authorised the launch.
Third moon mission
The Chandrayaan-3 which will be India’s third lunar mission consists of an indigenous lander module (LM), propulsion module (PM), and a rover with an objective of developing and demonstrating new technologies required for inter-planetary missions.
According to ISRO, the lander has 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 have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface.
ISRO Chairman S. Somnath last week said that the Chandrayaan-3’s landing on the is scheduled for August 23-24. “If the launch takes place on that day then we will be ready for landing on the moon possibly by the last week of August. The date (landing date) is decided when there is sunrise on the moon. When we are landing, sunlight must be there. So the landing will be on August 23 or 24,” Mr Somnath said.
ISRO officials visit Tirupati
ISRO officials visited Lord Venkateswaran temple in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, ahead of the launch on Thursday, July 13, 2023. Officials carried with a miniature model of the rocket and spacecraft and sought blessings. It is an old ISRO tradition to seek the blessings of the deity ahead of satellite launches in Sriharikota.
(with inputs from PTI)