India has achieved a remarkable feat in space exploration by successfully landing its Chandrayaan-3 mission on the moon’s south pole region on August 23, 2023. This makes India the first country to land near the lunar south pole, the first to deploy a rover near the lunar south pole, the second to land on the far side of the moon, the second to land on the moon in the 21st century, and the fourth to soft-land on the moon.
Chandrayaan-3 Cost in Dollar
The Chandrayaan-3 mission is also notable for its cost-effectiveness and efficiency. The total cost of the mission is estimated at Rs 615 crore, which is equivalent to about $75 million USD. This is less than half of the budget of Chandrayaan-2, which was Rs 978 crore ($125 million USD) It is also much cheaper than many Hollywood movies, such as Interstellar ($165 million USD), Avatar ($237 million USD), and Avengers: Endgame ($356 million USD).
The low cost of Chandrayaan-3 is attributed to several factors, such as reusing the orbiter from Chandrayaan-2, optimizing the design and configuration of the lander and rover, and minimizing the launch mass and fuel consumption.
Who Built Chandrayaan-3?
The Chandrayaan-3 mission is a product of the collective efforts and expertise of several individuals and organizations under the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Some of the key players behind the mission are:
- S Somanath: He is the chairman of ISRO and one of the main leaders behind Chandrayaan-3. He has also served as the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), where he was involved in developing rocket technologies for ISRO. He is also overseeing other major missions such as Aditya-L1 (a solar research mission) and Gaganyaan (India’s first manned space mission).
- P Veeramuthuvel: He is the project director of Chandrayaan-3 and is responsible for managing all aspects of the mission. He previously worked as a deputy director at the Space Infrastructure Programme Office at ISRO headquarters. He also played an important role in Chandrayaan-2. He is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M).
- M Sankaran: He is the director of U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), where he leads the team that builds all of India’s satellites for ISRO. He assumed this role in June 2021 and has been guiding the team that creates satellites for various purposes such as communication, navigation, remote sensing, weather forecasting, and planetary exploration
- S Unnikrishnan Nair: He is the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), where he oversees the development and testing of launch vehicles and related technologies for ISRO. He took charge of this position in June 2021 and has been taking care of critical parts of Chandrayaan-3.
Apart from these leaders, there are many other scientists, engineers, technicians, and support staff who have contributed to Chandrayaan-3 in various capacities. ISRO has also collaborated with several private companies and academic institutions for various aspects of the mission. Some of these include Godrej Aerospace, Larsen & Toubro, Alpha Design Technologies, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institute of Technology (NITs), and many more.
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Who is the Leader of Chandrayaan?
While there are many leaders behind Chandrayaan-3, one can say that S Somanath is the overall leader of Chandrayaan as he is the chairman of ISRO and has been involved in all stages of the mission. He has been instrumental in setting the vision, strategy, and goals for Chandrayaan-3 and ensuring its successful execution. He has also been communicating with the public and media about the mission and its significance.
S Somanath has a rich experience and expertise in space technology and engineering. He joined ISRO in 1985 as a project engineer in charge of developing cryogenic propulsion systems. He rose through the ranks to become the director of LPSC in 2014, where he led several projects related to liquid propulsion systems for launch vehicles and spacecraft. In 2017, he became the director of VSSC, where he oversaw the development and testing of launch vehicles such as PSLV, GSLV, and LVM3. In 2021, he took over as the chairman of ISRO, succeeding K Sivan.
S Somanath has received several awards and recognitions for his contributions to the Indian space programme. Some of these include the Padma Shri (2020), the Vikram Sarabhai Award (2018), the Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr Vikram Sarabhai Research Award (2007), and the ISRO Team Excellence Award (2004). He is also a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) and a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).
How to See Chandrayaan-3 Live
If you are interested in watching Chandrayaan-3 live, there are several options available for you. You can watch the live stream of the landing on ISRO’s official website, YouTube channel, or Facebook page. You can also watch the live coverage on various TV channels such as Doordarshan, Times Now, NDTV, CNN-News18, and more. You can also follow ISRO’s Twitter handle for live updates and photos.
The landing of Chandrayaan-3 is expected to take place around 18:04 IST on August 23, 2023. The landing sequence will last for about 15 minutes and will involve several critical manoeuvres such as rough braking, fine braking, hovering, obstacle avoidance, and soft touchdown. The lander will then deploy the rover, which will roll out and start exploring the lunar surface. The rover will use navigation cameras to scan the terrain and transmit images and data back to the lander, which will relay them to the orbiter and then to Earth. The rover will also leave imprints of the Indian flag and ISRO logo on the lunar soil.
Chandrayaan-3 is a historic mission that showcases India’s prowess in space exploration and technology. It is also a mission that inspires millions of people across the world with its scientific objectives and achievements. Chandrayaan-3 is not only a proud moment for India but also a milestone for humanity as it opens new avenues for understanding and utilizing the moon’s resources and potential.
10 Most Asked Questions and Answers
Here are some of the most asked questions about Chandrayaan-3 and their answers:
Q1: What is Chandrayaan-3?
A1: Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third lunar exploration mission under ISRO’s Chandrayaan programme. It consists of a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyan, similar to those of Chandrayaan-2. The mission aims to study the lunar south pole region, which is believed to contain water ice and other resources.
Q2: When was Chandrayaan-3 launched?
A2: Chandrayaan-3 was launched on July 14, 2023 at 14:35 IST from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota using a Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM3) rocket.
Q3: When did Chandrayaan-3 land on the moon?
A3: Chandrayaan-3 landed on the moon on August 23, 2023 at 18:02 IST near the lunar south pole region between Manzinus C and Simpelius N craters.
Q4: What are the objectives of Chandrayaan-3?
A4: The main objectives of Chandrayaan-3 are:
- To demonstrate India’s capability to soft-land on the moon
- To explore the lunar south pole region using a rover
- To conduct scientific experiments using instruments on board the lander and rover
- To collect data on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, surface temperature, lunar exosphere, and signatures of water ice
Q5: What are the instruments on board Chandrayaan-3?
A5: The instruments on board Chandrayaan-3 are:
- Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC)
- Lander Horizontal Velocity Camera (LHVC)
- Lander Hazard Detection Avoidance Camera (LHDAC)
- Lander Altimeter (LALT)
- Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA)
- Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA)
- Chandra’s Surface Thermo Physical Experiment (ChaSTE)
- Rover Navigation Camera (NAVCAM)
- Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS)
- Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS)
Q6: How long will Chandrayaan-3 operate on the moon?
A6: The expected lifespan of Chandrayaan-3 is: