New Delhi: India’s Chandrayaan-3 embarked on a successful mission today at 2.35 pm, lifting off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Carrying the hopes of an entire nation, the mission aims to make India the fourth country to land on the moon.

Here are the top 10 updates on this significant development:

1. Moon Lander Vikram on GSLV Mark 3 “Bahubali” Rocket

Perched atop a GSLV Mark 3 heavy-lift launch vehicle, the moon lander Vikram is ready for its journey. The GSLV, now renamed Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LM-3), stands at a height of 43.5 meters, which is half the height of Delhi’s Qutb Minar. The entire journey is expected to span over 40 days, with the spacecraft scheduled to touch down on the moon in August.

2. ISRO Hopes for Success After Previous Setback

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is cautiously optimistic about the Chandrayaan-3 mission. After the previous moon mission in July 2019 encountered unforeseen challenges, the ISRO is keeping its fingers crossed for a successful outcome this time.

3. Challenges Faced in Previous Chandrayaan-2 Mission

Speaking exclusively to NDTV, ISRO Chief S Somnath revealed, “The main issue in the last Chandrayaan-2 mission was the presence of off-nominal conditions in the system. Everything was not as expected, and the craft failed to handle these conditions, resulting in an unsuccessful landing.”

4. A Historic Landing at the South Pole of the Moon

In an unprecedented move, India’s moon craft is set to land in the moon’s South Pole. This region is of immense interest due to the discovery of water molecules during India’s first moon mission in 2008, which caused a global stir.

5. The moon lander’s objectives of Vikram and Pragyan

Vikram is designed to achieve a safe and gentle landing on the moon’s surface. Once landed, it will release the rover Pragyan, which will explore the moon’s terrain for a lunar day equivalent to 14 earth days. Pragyan will conduct various scientific experiments, including analyzing lunar soil, investigating moon quakes, and traversing the moon’s surface.

6. Lessons Learned and Enhancements Made

Based on the previous mission’s experience, ISRO has made several improvements. The number of engines on the lander has been reduced from five to four, and the software has been upgraded. Each component has undergone rigorous testing to ensure a successful outcome.

7. Safeguarding Against Potential Failures

Mr. Somanath explained that the new mission had been meticulously planned to account for potential failures. Various scenarios were examined, such as sensor, engine, algorithm, and calculation failures. Measures have been developed to address these issues and ensure a safe and successful landing.

8. The Historic Chandrayaan-1 Mission

India’s first mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-1, was launched in October 2008 and operated until August 2009. It laid the foundation for future lunar explorations and paved the way for India’s ambitious lunar endeavors.

9. Setback in Chandrayaan-2, But Orbiter Continued to Provide Data

In 2019, the lander of Chandrayaan-2 deviated from its planned trajectory and experienced a hard landing. However, the orbiter from that mission remains in orbit around the moon and continues to transmit valuable data.

10. Chandrayaan-3 mission

With the Chandrayaan-3 mission underway, India’s scientific community and the nation eagerly await its successful culmination. The mission’s objectives and lessons learned from past missions provide a strong foundation for India’s ambitious space exploration endeavors.