India launches Chandrayaan-3 rocket to the moon; expected to land on Aug 23
New Delhi is aiming to land a rover on the moon. Only the United States, China and the former Soviet Union have completed successful lunar landings
India's space agency launched its Chandrayaan-3 rocket on Friday, July 14. The blast-off from India's main spaceport, Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, at 2:35 PM.
New Delhi is aiming to land a rover on the moon. It is scheduled to reach the moon on August 23.
The mission comes four years after an earlier attempt ended in failure. Only the United States, China and the former Soviet Union have completed successful lunar landings.
Earlier this year, a Japanese start-up attempted to get a lander to the moon, but the object crashed.
India also tried a similar mission in 2019, with the Chanrdayaan-2 rocket and a rover also called Vikram, as in the current mission — but the rover crashed as it attempted a soft landing on the moon.
What else do we know about the launch?
The Chandrayaan-3 was built with a budget of under $75 million (€66.8 million).
The launch by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the country's first major mission since the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced policies to promote investment in private space launches.
India plans for its companies to increase their share of the launch market fivefold, up from 2% in 2020.
India sent its first probe to orbit the moon in 2008. In 2014, it became the first Asian country to put a satellite into orbit around Mars. Three years later, its space agency launched 104 satellites in a single mission.
The ISRO's Gaganyaan program is scheduled to launch a three-day manned mission into Earth's orbit in 2024.
Viewers from all across the nation gathered at Satish Dhawan Space Centre to witness the historic moment. Over 200 schools students arrived at the spot to watch the launch of Chandrayaan3.
"I feel very confident, I want to become an astronaut like Kalpana Chawla. I am excited," said a student, Subhashini. A teacher, Sundari said, "A very happy moment for us. It is exciting for us to be here. Students are very excited to see Chandrayaan-3 launch live. We are thankful to PM Modi and ISRO."
Renowed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created a 22 ft long sand art of Chandrayaan 3 with the installation of 500 steel bowls with the message "Bijayee Bhava", at Puri beach in Odisha on Thursday, July 13.
"Chandrayaan 2, the soft landing was a failure at the last minute...ISRO has revisited all the data which has been collected and corrective measures has been taken in almost all the elements...Whatever humanly possible has been done, and normally ISRO's track record is learn from the past failures and leap towards the succeess. So this is that stage. Good efforts has been done by the team. I dont seen any reasons whi it should fail," former ISRO chief Madhavan Nair told PTI.
With agency inputs
Published: 14 Jul 2023, 2:59 PM