India launches Chandrayaan-3 lander towards the lunar south pole

India launches Chandrayaan-3 lander towards the lunar south pole

The Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) LVM3 launch rocket lifted off from the country’s main spaceport in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh on Friday afternoon, leaving behind a plume of smoke and fire.

About 16 minutes later, ISRO Mission Control announced that the missile had successfully placed the Chandrayaan-3 lander into an Earth orbit that would send it into a loop. moon drop next month.

If the mission succeeds, so will India Join the group of three other countries that have managed controlled lunar landings, including the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China.

The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft will also be the first to land at the moon’s south pole, an area of ​​particular interest to space agencies and private space companies due to the presence of water ice that could support a space station in the future.

The rocket lifted off from India’s main spaceport at 2:35 p.m local time (0905 GMT). More than 1.4 million people watched launch On ISRO’s YouTube channel, many extend congratulations and the patriotic slogan “Jai Hind”. (Victory to India).

in 2020, ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 mission successfully deployed an orbiter, but the lander and rover were destroyed in a crash near where Chandrayaan-3 would attempt to land.

Chandrayaan, which means “the chariot of the moon” in Sanskrit, includes A 2meter-(6.6-foot)-Long lander designed to deploy a rover near the moon Antarctica, where he is expected to remain operational for two weeks by conducting a series of experiments.

The moon landing is expected in August. 23, said ISRO.

The launch is India’s first major mission since the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government policies to stimulate investment in space launches and satellite-based businesses.

Modi had earlier said on Twitter that the moon mission would “carry the hopes and dreams of our nation”..

“As Mother India enters the next 25 years, she pledges to play a leading global role in the emerging world scenario,” Deputy Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said at an event at the spaceport to celebrate the launch.

Since 2020, when India opened up to private launches, the number of space startups has more than doubled. Late last year, Skyroot Aerospace, whose investors include Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, launched India’s first privately built rocket.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Kevin Krolicki, Jamie Fried and Mark Heinrichs)

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