A day ahead of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, a team of ISRO scientists on Thursday visited and offered prayers at Tirupathi Venkatachalapathy Temple in Andhra Pradesh with a miniature model of Chandrayaan-3. A team of ISRO scientists, including Scientific Secretary of ISRO Shanthanu Batwuadekar, visited the temple earlier on Thursday.
“This is Chandrayaan-3 — our mission to the moon. Our launch is scheduled tomorrow,” a scientist told reporters after offering prayers at the Tirupathi temple. National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) Director Amit Kumar Patra, Project Director of Chandrayaan-3, Veeramuthu Vel, Associate Project Director of Chandrayaan-3, Kalpana Kalahasti and other senior ISRO scientists were also among the team seeking divine blessings at the temple ahead of the big-ticket launch on Friday.
ISRO had earlier announced that Chandrayaan-3 will be launched on July 14, at 2:35 pm IST from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar exploration mission, will make India the fourth country to land its spacecraft on the moon’s surface and demonstrate its ability for safe and soft landing on the lunar surface.
The countdown for the launch will begin later on Thursday, ahead of take-off on Friday from Sriharikota.
“Mission Readiness Review is completed. The board has authorised the launch. The countdown begins tomorrow,” ISRO said in a tweet. It will be launched on a GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle.
This will be Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) follow-up attempt after the Chandrayaan-2 mission faced challenges during its soft landing in 2019. The ‘Launch Rehearsal’ simulating the entire launch preparation and process has been concluded by the ISRO. Chandrayaan-3 mission will demonstrate a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, rover roving on the moon and conduct in-situ scientific experiments. ISRO has invited citizens to witness the launch of the much-awaited Chandrayaan-3 from the viewing gallery at Sriharikota. During the Chandrayaan-2 mission, ISRO had lost contact with the lander when it was just a notch from the moon’s surface. K Sivan, former director of ISRO, told ANI that the success of mission Chandrayan-3 will give a morale boost to programs like Gaganyan.
“We understood what went wrong with Chandrayan-2 when we could not land on the moon’s surface, we recreated the failure modes and ensured that we succeeded this time. The challenge is the same as Chandrayan-2, same environment for landing. This time we hope that we have done enough based on the lesson of Chandrayan-2 that gives us more confidence. In space, there are always unknown unknowns…hope that all issues are addressed and that we emerge with success,” he said. Chandrayaan-3’s development phase commenced in January 2020 with the launch planned sometime in 2021. However, the Covid-19 pandemic put a temporary brake on the project. The major discovery of the Chandrayaan-1 mission, launched in 2008, was the detection of water (H2O) and hydroxyl (OH) on the lunar surface. Data mind by ISO’s lander revealed further their enhanced abundance towards the polar region. Director of Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO), S Somanath, had said that if everything goes well, the spacecraft will land on the moon on August 23. The date has been decided based on the sunrise on the moon but if it gets delayed, then landing may take place next month, he said. (ANI)