Sunday, July 14, 2024

NASA, ESA congratulate India on Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft

The US space agency NASA and European Space agency (ESA) on Friday lauded India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft that was successfully launched on a historic mission to the far side of the moon. 

The LVM-3, the country’s heavy rocket, nicknamed ‘Bahubali’ carried the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft and put the moon spacecraft into orbit on Friday afternoon.

The mission is a follow up of the failed Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2019 when the lander named Vikram crashed on to the moon surface.

“Congratulations to ISRO on the Chandrayaan-3 launch, wishing you safe travels to the Moon. We look forward to the scientific results to come from the mission, including NASA’s laser retroreflector array. India is demonstrating leadership on #ArtemisAccords!” Bill Nelson, NASA administrator on Twitter.

“Congratulations ISRO on the launch of the #Chandrayaan3 #Moon mission! Our ESA ground station in Kourou will begin tracking the spacecraft as it rises above the horizon in French Guiana tomorrow morning (CEST). Speak to you soon!” ESA added.

At 2.35 p.m. the LVM3 rocket rose into the sky from the second launch pad here at Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The 43.5 metre tall rocket, weighing about 642 tonnes, rushed upwards and 16-minutes into its flight, the rocket put Chandrayaan-3 into orbit.

The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft comprises a propulsion module (weighing 2,148 kg), a lander (1,723.89 kg) and a rover (26 kg), the ISRO said.

Industry experts called the successful launch has fortified India’s position “as a global space power”.

“The launch of Chandrayaan 3 represents yet another significant turning point in India’s space research endeavours. Chandrayaan 3 has the potential to provide new light on the Moon, spark our interest, and open the door for additional explorations. This amazing project highlights India’s expertise in space exploration and solidifies its status as a major participant on the international stage,” Arjun Naik, Founder, and CEO of Scandron, a Drone start-up, told IANS.

“With Chandrayaan 3, we embark on a new chapter of lunar exploration, fueling our aspirations to unravel the Moon’s secrets. This remarkable achievement reinforces India’s position as a global space power and ignites a sense of unity and hope among every Indian, reminding us that our dreams have no bounds,” added Sanjay Kaushik, Managing Partner, Netrika Consulting, an integrity management firm.

Meanwhile, the lander is expected to reach the moon’s vicinity on August 17, and will descend to the moon from a height of about 100 km from the moon’s surface.

The soft landing is a tricky issue as it involves a series of complex manoeuvres consisting of rough and fine braking.

Previously, in April, Japanese lunar exploration company ispace’s Moon lander failed to make its historic touchdown on the lunar surface due to a software glitch.

In 2019, two attempted lunar landings, by India’s Vikram lander and Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL’s Beresheet both crashed.

In those landing attempts, the trajectory and speed data went awry before the signals were lost.

The success of Chandrayaan-3 mission will make India the fourth country in the world to land and ride on the Moon surface after the US, Russia, and China.

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