Chandryaan-3, India’s third Moon mission, which took off from Indian Space Research Organisation’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDCC) in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota on July 14, is scheduled for its soft-landing on the lunar surface on August 23. If everything goes according to the plan, the mission will be a significant milestone for India’s space sector.
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Here’s how the lunar mission would help boost India’s space sector:
- According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Vikram lander will attempt to land on the lunar surface a little after 6pm on August 23. If successful, India will enter an elite list, becoming only the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, joining the United States, Russia, and China – and emerge as a space power.
- With the recent failure of Russia’s Luna-25 mission, India has an opportunity to become the first country to achieve a soft landing on the Moon’s south pole – the Chandrayaan-3’s intended destination.
- The mission would also help boost the Centre’s plan to spur investment in private space launches and related satellite-based businesses.
- It would push India’s aim for its private space companies to increase their share of the global launch market by fivefold within the next decade.
- Earlier, when the moon mission was launched, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that ISRO was writing “a new chapter in India’s space odyssey” and elevating “the dreams and ambitions of every Indian.”
Chandrayaan’s lunar landing may be postponed?
Two days ahead of Chandrayaan-3’s soft-landing on the lunar surface, a senior ISRO scientist said the national space agency will go ahead with the landing only if conditions on the day are “favourable”. He noted that otherwise, a fresh attempt will be made on August 27.
“Two hours before Chandrayaan-3 lands on the Moon, we will take a decision on whether or not it will be appropriate to land it at that time based on the health of the lander module and the conditions on the Moon. In case, if any factor appears to be not favourable, then we will land the module on the Moon on August 27,” Nilesh M Desai, director, space applications centre, ISRO, told news agency ANI.
However, he also expressed confidence that the Vikram lander will reach the lunar surface as per the original schedule.
(With inputs from agencies)