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Chandrayaan-3: Current Affairs 

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Chandrayaan-3

Relevance: Science and technology

Context: India is likely to launch its third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 in the third quarter of next year Union minister of state for the department of space told Parliament.

About news:

  • Chandrayaan-3 involves various processes including finalization of configuration, subsystems realization, integration, spacecraft level detailed testing, and several special tests to evaluate the system performance on earth.
  • The third lunar mission will have a configuration similar to Chandrayaan-2, equipped with the lander and a rover, and will land on the same location where the Vikram-lander for the previous mission crashed.
  • Chandrayaan-3 was planned to demonstrate India’s capability of soft landing on a celestial body, with the rover then communicating with Earth via the existing orbiter from Chandrayaan-2.
  • Chandrayaan- 3 was initially scheduled for late 2020 or early 2021, but the disruption caused by the pandemic affected the schedule.

Chandrayaan series:

Chandrayaan-1Chandrayaan-2Chandrayaan-3
The net weight of the spacecraft was carried by PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle).The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft weighs approximately 3290 kilograms and it would be launched by the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV).NA (Most probably GSLV)
Chandrayaan-1 has carried a range of scientific equipment, both Indian and international, to the lunar orbit.Chandrayaan-2 has three modules namely Orbiter, Lander (Vikram), and Rover (Pragyan).

 

Chandrayaan-3 will be a mission repeat of Chandrayaan-2 but will only include a lander and rover similar to that of Chandrayaan-2.
During Chandrayaan-1, the Mini-Synthetic Aperture Radar (Mini-SAR) found water-ice deposits in craters on the far side of the moon.The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter circled the moon and provide information about its surface. The aim is to study the moon’s a mineral and chemical composition and its topology and seismology.It will not have an orbiter. The spacecraft is planned to be launched in the first half of 2022.
Chandrayaan-1 orbited the moon a distance of 100 km from its surface, with a mission of chemical, mineralogical, and photo-geologic mapping of the lunar satellite.The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter circled the moon and provide information about its surface. The Lander will soft-land on the lunar surface and unload the Rover to study and take measurements from the surface. Unfortunately, the landing failed.The lander for Chandrayaan-3 will have only four throttle-able engines unlike Vikram on Chandrayaan-2 which had five 800 Newtons engines.
Chandrayaan-1 carried five ISRO payloads and six payloads from other space agencies including NASA, ESA, and the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency.

 

In Chandrayaan-2, a total of 13 payloads including three from Europe, two from the US, and one Bulgaria, where the Orbiter and Vikram Lander are stacked upon each other whereas the Pragyan Rover is housed inside the lander.Additionally, the Chandrayaan-3 lander will also be equipped with a Laser Doppler Velocimeter (LDV).
Chandarayan-1 involved surveying the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and three-dimensional topography. Chandrayaan-1 was in operation for 312 days.Chandrayaan-2, equipped with a lander and rover, will observe the lunar surface and send back data which will be useful for analysis of the lunar soil.

 

Following Chandrayaan-2, where a last-minute glitch led to the failure of the lander’s soft landing attempt after a successful orbital insertion, Chandrayaan 3 is to complete the landing.

 

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