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Chandrayaan 3 Mission: UPSC NOTES- Unveiling India’s Lunar Victory

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CHANDRAYAAN 3 MISSION: INTRODUCTION

On August 23, 2023, India’s Chandrayaan – 3 did something amazing – it gently landed on the moon’s south pole. This is a big deal because India has now become one of the few countries in the world, alongside the United States, Russia, and China, to pull off a successful moon landing. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Chandrayaan 3 mission, which is important for the science and technology part of the UPSC exam.

CHANDRAYAAN 3: AN OVERVIEW

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) conducted two previous lunar missions: Chandrayaan I and Chandrayaan II.
  • Chandrayaan-1 was launched in 2008 and operated until 2009 when it lost communication; it also included a crash landing test on the moon.
  • Chandrayaan-2, launched in 2019, aimed for a soft lunar landing but faced a mission failure.
  • Chandrayaan-3, the third mission, incorporated lessons learned from the second mission and successfully achieved a soft landing on the Lunar South Pole on August 23, 2023.
  • ISRO Chandrayaan 3 launch date was on July 14, 2023, from Sriharikota using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (LVM3).

CHANDRAYAAN 3: DETAILS

In the Chandrayaan-3 mission, there’s a lander named Vikram and a rover called Pragyan, continuing the tradition from the previous Chandrayaan mission. The mission itself consists of three vital components: a lander module, a propulsion module, and the rover.

The propulsion module carries a significant payload known as SHAPE (Spectro- polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth), designed to explore exo-planets and their potential habitability by studying reflected light. 

Vikram, the lander, hosts a range of essential payloads, including ChaSTE (Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment), which measures temperature and thermal conductivity, ILSA (Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity) for studying seismic activity at the landing site, LP (Langmuir Probe) to gauge plasma density and variations, and a passive Laser Retroreflector Array from NASA, contributing to lunar laser-ranging studies.

Pragyan, the rover, is well-equipped with advanced instruments like APXS (Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer) and LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope). These cutting-edge technologies empower the mission to conduct diverse scientific experiments on the lunar surface. 

Chandrayaan-3’s operational lifespan is one lunar day, equivalent to about 14 Earth days, and the mission operates within a budget of Rs 615 crore.

Chandrayaan 3 Mission

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHANDRAYAAN 3 MISSION & CHANDRAYAAN 2:

ASPECT OF IMPROVEMENT  DESCRIPTION 
Lesson Learned Lessons from Chandrayaan-II’s failed soft landing were incorporated into ISRO Chandrayaan 3’s design.
Landing Area Expansion The landing area was expanded, allowing for a safer soft landing within a larger designated region on the moon’s surface.
Increased Fuel Reserves Vikram, the lander, was equipped with more fuel, extending its capability to travel towards the landing site.
Solar Panel Upgrade Chandrayaan III Mission featured four solar panels, doubling the power generation capacity compared to Chandrayaan-2. 
Descent Speed Monitoring An onboard instrument, the Laser Doppler Velocimeter, continuously monitored the lander’s speed by sending laser beams to the lunar surface for speed calculations.

For more information on the ISRO Chandrayaan 3 mission, please visit the official website dedicated to the mission, “ISRO Chandrayaan 3.”

For UPSC exam students, including details about Chandrayaan 3 missions in your UPSC notes can enrich your understanding of India’s space exploration achievements, which are relevant to the General Studies paper and showcase India’s scientific prowess and national development efforts.

ISRO CHANDRAYAAN 3: TIMELINE

Date Milestone
July 14, 2023 ISRO Launch of Chandrayaan 3 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
August 5, 2023 Entry of the mission into lunar orbit.
August 17, 2023 Separation of the lander module from the propulsion module.
August 18, 2023 The first deboosting maneuver to adjust the spacecraft’s orbit with a focus on the landing site, involving slowing down to reach the desired lunar orbit parameters.
August 20, 2023 The second deboosting maneuver, further fine-tuning the spacecraft’s orbit for a successful landing by achieving specific altitude parameters.
August 23, 2023 Successful landing of the lander at approximately 69.36°S and 32.34°E, situated between the Manzinus C and Simpelius N craters on the moon’s southern pole.
August 24, 2023 Commencement of rover Pragyan’s exploration activities on the lunar surface.
August 30, 2023 Confirmation of the presence of sulfur on the moon’s surface by rover Pragyan, achieved through the application of the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technique. This technique employs intense laser pulses to analyse the composition of materials.

WHAT FINDINGS HAVE ISRO CHANDRAYAAN 3 UNCOVERED THUS FAR?

ISRO Chandrayaan 3 has unearthed two significant revelations since its touchdown on the lunar surface.

  1. Identification of Sulfur and Oxygen: The Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) instrument aboard the ‘Pragyan’ rover of Chandrayaan-3 has definitively confirmed the presence of sulphur on the lunar surface near the south pole. Additionally, this advanced instrument has detected various other elements, including Aluminum (Al), Calcium (Ca), Iron (Fe), Chromium (Cr), Titanium (Ti), Manganese (Mn), Silicon (Si), and Oxygen (O).
  2. Lunar Temperature Variations: Chandrayaan-3 has diligently measured the lunar soil’s temperature, leading to intriguing findings. The recorded temperatures range from a frigid minus 10 degrees Celsius at a depth of 80 mm below the surface to a relatively balmy 70 degrees Celsius at approximately 20 mm above the lunar terrain.

These discoveries mark significant strides in our understanding of the lunar environment and the elements present on the moon’s surface. ISRO Chandrayaan 3 continues to unveil the moon’s secrets, furthering our knowledge of this celestial body.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHANDRAYAAN 3 MISSION FOR UPSC ASPIRANTS:

Chandrayaan 3, India’s third lunar mission, holds significant relevance for UPSC aspirants. It offers a unique opportunity to enhance knowledge in key UPSC exam areas.

Firstly, Chandrayaan 3’s scientific instruments promise valuable insights into lunar geology, mineralogy, and the moon’s atmosphere. Such knowledge is directly applicable to UPSC geography and science and technology segments.

Secondly, understanding the cutting-edge technology employed in Chandrayaan 3 is vital for UPSC candidates. It prepares you to respond effectively to questions on space technology and its applications, a recurring theme in Chandrayaan 3 UPSC science and tech questions.

Lastly, India’s global standing in space exploration is positively impacted by missions like ISRO Chandrayaan- 3. Being well-informed about this mission allows you to address questions on India’s international space achievements and collaborations, frequently featured in UPSC exams. Chandrayaan- 3 launch date is also important for UPSC.

CONCLUSION:

In August 2023, India celebrated a remarkable achievement with the successful landing of Chandrayaan III on the moon’s south pole. This mission solidified India’s status among nations like the United States, Russia, and China that have landed on the moon.

Chandrayaan 3 for UPSC aspirants, provides an excellent opportunity to enhance their knowledge. Its scientific discoveries are relevant to geography and science & tech segments, while its global impact aligns with topics often covered in the UPSC exams.

If you’re preparing for your UPSC exam and need guidance, we’re here to help at our website. We offer personalized support, valuable resources, free webinars, demo lectures, counseling, and a wide range of study materials. Your UPSC journey is important to us, and we’re committed to assisting you every step of the way.

FAQs – CHANDRAYAAN-3 UPSC NOTES

What is the launch date of Chandrayaan-3?

The launch date of Chandrayaan- 3 is 14th July 2023.

When was the Chandrayaan mission successfully landed on the moon?

India's Chandrayaan-3 mission achieved a successful landing close to the moon's southern pole on Wednesday, August 23rd. This mission, led by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), not only marked a historic milestone by making India the fourth nation to successfully land on the moon (following the Soviet Union, the U.S., and China), but it also earned the distinction of being the first to touch down at the southern lunar pole.

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