The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced the launch of Chandrayaan-3. The mission is scheduled to launch on July 14, 2023, with a possible extension until July 19. Chandrayaan-3 is the third lunar exploration mission by ISRO and aims to achieve a soft landing on the Moon’s surface. It will consist of a lander and rover, similar to Chandrayaan-2, but without an orbiter.
The mission will explore the far side of the Moon and is designed to last one lunar night, or 14 Earth days. Funding for the project is estimated to be around ₹615 crore (US$77 million). The main objectives of the mission are to achieve a safe landing, demonstrate the rover’s capabilities, and conduct scientific experiments on the Moon’s composition.
“The launch is now scheduled for July 14, 2023, at 2:35 pm IST from SDSC, Sriharikota” tweeted Indian Space Research Organisation by announcing the launch date for Chandrayan-3 on twitter.
Announcing the launch of Chandrayaan-3:
The launch is now scheduled for
📆July 14, 2023, at 2:35 pm IST
from SDSC, Sriharikota
Stay tuned for the updates!
— ISRO (@isro) July 6, 2023
The main difference between Chandrayaan-3 and Chandrayaan-2 missions is in their payloads and objectives. While Chandrayaan-2 consisted of an orbiter, lander, and rover, Chandrayaan-3 will launch with only a lander and a rover. The orbiter used in the previous mission will be utilized for communication and mapping in Chandrayaan-3.
Additionally, Chandrayaan-3 will include new additions such as Lander Hazard Detection & Avoidance Cameras, a SHAPE instrument for studying exoplanets, and a Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) to understand the Moon system dynamics. These changes have been made based on the lessons learned from Chandrayaan-2.