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Chandrayaan III

Context: Chandrayaan III spacecraft was integrated with the GSLV Mark III launch vehicle recently. The launch is planned between 12-19th July 2023.

About Chandrayaan III:-

Chandrayaan-3 is the successor to the Chandrayaan-2 mission. Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM3).

  • Launched from: Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  • It consists of an indigenous Lander module (LM), a Propulsion module (PM) and a Rover.
    • Lander: a spacecraft that descends towards and comes to rest on, the surface of an astronomical body.
    • Propulsion module: a box-like structure, mounted with a large solar panel on one side and a large cylinder on top.
    • Rover: a small vehicle that can move over rough ground, often used on the surface of other planets, sometimes controlled from the earth.
  • The Lander and the Rover have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface.
  • There will not be any orbiters like Chandrayaan 2 in it CHANDRAYAAN-2)

Objectives of Chandrayaan-3 mission:-

  • To demonstrate a Safe and Soft Landing on Lunar Surface
  • To demonstrate Rover roving on the moon and
  • To conduct in-situ scientific experiments.

Lander payloads:

  • Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE): to measure the thermal conductivity and temperature
  • Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) for measuring the seismicity around the landing site
  • Langmuir Probe (LP): to estimate the plasma density and its variations.
  • A passive Laser Retroreflector Array from NASA is accommodated for lunar laser ranging studies.

Rover payloads:-

  • Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) for deriving the elemental composition near the landing site.

Propulsion Module Payload:-

  • Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE): Future discoveries of smaller planets in reflected light would allow us to probe into a variety of Exo-planets which would qualify for habitability or for the presence of life.
  • It is also known as the Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3).
  • It is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons, a liquid propellant core stage and a cryogenic stage.
  • It is the heaviest and the shortest among India’s operational launch vehicles.
  • Weighs: 641 tonnes, which is equal to the weight of five fully loaded passenger planes.
  • Capacity: GSLV can take 10,000-kg satellites to lower earth orbits.