The Indian Space Research Organisation launched its third lunar mission – Chandrayaan 3 on-board the heavylift LVM3-M4 rocket in Sriharikota on July 14.
The Vikram lander of the mission is expected to soft land on the surface of the South Pole region of the Moon on around August 23 or August 24.
At the end of the 25.30 hour countdown, the LVM3-M4 rocket, the largest and heaviest in its class and dubbed as ‘Fat Boy’ lifted off majestically at a prefixed time at 2.35 p.m. from the second launch pad, discharging thick plumes of smoke.
Today’s lunar expedition follows the 2019 Chandrayaan-2 mission where space scientists are aiming for a soft landing on the surface of the moon. A successful mission would see India enter an elite club of nations achieving such a feat, the others being the United States, China and the former Soviet Union.
The Chandrayaan-3 which will be India’s third lunar mission consists of an indigenous lander module (LM), propulsion module (PM), and a rover with the objective of developing and demonstrating new technologies required for inter-planetary missions.
The dream run of India’s ambitious second lunar mission, Chandrayaan 2 ended in a tragedy early on September 7 as the Indian Space Research Organisation lost contact with the spacecraft’s lander Vikram.