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Chandrayaan 3: India's Mission to explore the Moon Reimagined

ISRO is gearing up for the next LVM 3 Launch which is of Chandrayaan 3. The launch window is open between 12th July to 19th July. Here’s everything you need to know about India’s most ambitious third lunar mission i.e. Chandrayaan 3.

Chandrayaan 3 full stacked Lander and Propulsion module
Image credit : ISRO

Chandrayaan 3 mission consists of Lander and Rover configuration (check the below image) and will be launched onboard LVM3 (previously known as GSLV Mk-3) from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. It is expected that the Propulsion module will carry Lander and Rover configuration till 100 km lunar orbit. Chandrayaan 2’s orbiter is known as the Prolusion module because this time we have only one science payload called Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) payload to study the spectral and Polari metric measurements of Earth from the lunar orbit and some fuel tanks.

Graphic of Chandrayaan 3 integrated module showing lander module + Rover and Propulsion module
Image credit : ISRO

Mission specifications of Chandrayaan 3 :

  • Mission Life (Lander & Rover): One lunar day (~14 Earth days)

  • Landing Site (Prime): 4 km x 2.4 km 69.367621 S, 32.348126 E

  • Mass: Propulsion Module: 2148 kg, Lander Module: 1752 kg, Including Rover of 26 kg, Total: 3900 kg

  • Power generation: Propulsion Module: 758 W, Lander Module: 738W, WS with Bias, Rover: 50W

  • Communication: Propulsion Module: Communicates with IDSN (Indian Deep space network), Lander Module: Communicates with IDSN and Rover. Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter is also planned for contingency link, Rover: Communicates only with Lander

  • Lander Touchdown specifications: Vertical velocity: ≤ 2 m / sec, Horizontal velocity: ≤ 0.5 m / sec, Slope: ≤ 120


Mission objective :

The following are the mission objectives :

  1. To demonstrate a Safe and Soft Landing on Lunar Surface

  2. To demonstrate Rover roving on the moon

  3. To conduct scientific experiments present onboard spacecraft.


Technologies present onboard lander

  1. Altimeters: Laser & RF based Altimeters

  2. Velocimeters: Laser Doppler Velocimeter & Lander Horizontal Velocity Camera

  3. Inertial Measurement: Laser Gyro based Inertial referencing and Accelerometer package

  4. Propulsion System: 800N Throttleable Liquid Engines, 58N attitude thrusters & Throttleable Engine Control Electronics

  5. Navigation, Guidance & Control (NGC): Powered Descent Trajectory design and associate software elements

  6. Hazard Detection and Avoidance: Lander Hazard Detection & Avoidance Camera and Processing Algorithm

  7. Landing Leg Mechanism.


Tests

The following tests are performed to validate technologies installed onboard Chandrayaan 3 spacecraft :

  1. Integrated Cold Test - For the demonstration of the Integrated Sensors & Navigation performance test using a helicopter as a test platform

  2. Integrated Hot test – For the demonstration of closed-loop performance test with sensors, actuators and NGC using a Tower crane as a test platform

  3. Lander Leg mechanism performance test on a lunar simulant test bed simulating different touchdown conditions.


The payload on Lander :

Graphic showing different parts of Lader module
Image credit : ISRO

Graphic showing different parts and payloads on Lander module
Image credit : ISRO

Lander has a payload called Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment to measure the thermal conductivity and temperature, an Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) for measuring the seismicity (the occurrence or frequency of moonquake) in a region around the landing site, Langmuir Probe (LP) to estimate the plasma density and its variations. A passive Laser Retroreflector Array from NASA is accommodated for lunar laser ranging studies. Reaction wheels for attitude control and stabilization. Lander Horizontal velocity camera for assisting spacecraft in navigation and landing operations.


Payload on Rover

Graphic showing different parts and payload of Chandrayaan 3 Rover
Image credit : ISRO

Rover consists of mainly two payloads ie, LASER Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) to study Qualitative and quantitative analysis of elements present on Moon and to derive chemical Composition and infer mineralogical composition to increase our understanding of Lunar-surface and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) To determine the elemental composition (Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, Fe) of Lunar soil and rocks around the lunar landing site.


So this was everything about Chandrayaan 3. I hope you like it, if so then do check out other articles from our website and join the mailing list to get a new article slide into your inbox.

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