With the successful launch of its Chandrayaan-3 mission on Friday, India is attempting to become just the fourth nation to successfully carry out a controlled landing on the moon.
At soon at 2:35 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET), Chandrayaan—which is Sanskrit for “moon vehicle”—launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, southern Andhra Pradesh.
More than one million people watched the historic launch online in addition to the large crowds that assembled at the space centre.
India is attempting a soft landing for the second time after Chandrayaan-2, its last attempt, failed in 2019. Chandrayaan-1, its first lunar probe, orbited the moon before being purposefully crash-landed onto the lunar surface in 2008.
Chandrayaan-3, created by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), consists of a lander, a propulsion module, and a rover. In order to gather information and carry out a number of scientific tests to better understand the makeup of the moon, it will safely land there.
Only the United States, Russia, and China have successfully completed the challenging task of soft-landing a spacecraft on the moon’s surface.
On the launch, Indian engineers have been working for many years. They intend to set down Chandrayaan-3 close to the difficult terrain of the undiscovered South Pole of the moon.
Chandrayaan-1, India’s first lunar mission, found water molecules on the moon’s surface. The Chandrayaan-2 successfully entered lunar orbit eleven years later, but its rover impacted the moon’s surface. It was also planned to investigate the South Pole of the moon.
Chandrayaan 3 has successfully departed from the potent LVM3-M4 rocket, according to ISRO chief S. Somanath. At the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, scientists were celebrating the mission’s successful launch when he made this comment.
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