Indian Lunar Landing Mission Successfully Enters Moon’s Orbit

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India’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has achieved a major milestone as its lunar landing mission, Chandrayaan-3, successfully entered the Moon’s orbit. This marks India’s second attempt at a controlled lunar landing, as it aims to further advance its low-budget space programme.

Currently, only Russia, the United States, and China have accomplished a controlled landing on the lunar surface. With Chandrayaan-3’s successful insertion into the lunar orbit, India is pushing closer to joining this elite group.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission refers to “Mooncraft” in Sanskrit, and it took more than three weeks after the launch for it to reach the Moon’s orbit. If the rest of the mission goes according to plan, the spacecraft will safely touch down near the unexplored south pole of the Moon between August 23 and 24.

In 2019, India’s previous attempt at a controlled lunar landing ended in failure when ground control lost contact with the mission moments before touchdown. However, the ISRO has carefully studied the data from that mission and made necessary improvements to increase the chances of success this time.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission consists of a lander module called Vikram, which means “valour” in Sanskrit, and a rover named Pragyan, which translates to “wisdom.” Once the lander successfully touches down, the rover will explore the nearby lunar area, capturing images for analysis. The rover has a mission life of one lunar day or approximately 14 Earth days.

India’s space programme has been gaining momentum since it sent a probe to orbit the Moon in 2008. In 2014, India became the first Asian nation to put a satellite in orbit around Mars, and three years later, the ISRO launched 104 satellites in a single mission. The ISRO is also working towards launching a three-day manned mission into Earth’s orbit, called Gaganyaan, by next year.

India’s cost-effective space engineering and the abundance of highly skilled engineers who earn less than their foreign counterparts have contributed to the success of its space programme. Additionally, India aims to capture a larger share of the global commercial space market by offering affordable options for private payloads.

With Chandrayaan-3’s progress and India’s ambitious plans for future space missions, the country’s space programme continues to reach new heights, making it a moment of glory for the nation.

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