India is trying to conquer the moon with its historic Chandrayaan-3

India is trying to conquer the moon with its historic Chandrayaan-3

(CNN) — India aims to become the fourth country to make a controlled landing on the moon with the Chandrayaan-3 mission scheduled for Friday.

Chandrayaan, which means “lunar vehicle” in Sanskrit, is expected to lift off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in southern Andhra Pradesh at 2:30 pm local time (5 am Miami time).

After that, this is India’s second attempt at a soft landing will fail His previous attempt was with Chandrayaan-2 in 2019. His first lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1, orbited the moon and later crashed on the lunar surface on purpose in 2008.

Developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Chandrayaan-3 consists of a lander, a propulsion module and a rover. Your goal is to land safely on the lunar surface, collect data, and conduct a series of scientific experiments to better understand the composition of the moon.

Only three other countries have accomplished the complex feat of landing a spacecraft on the lunar surface: the United States, Russia, and China.

Indian engineers have been working on the launch for years. Their mission is to land Chandrayaan-3 near the rough terrain of the moon’s unknown south pole.

Chandrayaan-1, India’s first lunar mission, detected water molecules on the lunar surface. Eleven years later, Chandrayaan-2 successfully entered lunar orbit, but its rover fell on the surface. He was also to explore the South Pole of the Moon.

Chandrayaan-3 prepares for launch on July 13, 2023 from Sriharikota, India. (Credit: Indian Space Agency/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

The journey to the moon is a milestone after decades of India’s toil

India’s space program dates back six decades, when it was a newly independent republic and a deeply impoverished country reeling from a bloody partition.

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When it launched its first rocket in 1963, the country did not live up to the ambitions of the United States and the Soviet Union, which were far ahead in the space race.

Today, India is the world’s most populous country and its fifth largest economy. It has a growing young population and is a growing center of innovation and technology.

India’s space ambitions have stalled under Modi.

For a leader who came to power in 2014 with a rhetoric of nationalism and future greatness, India’s space program is a symbol of the country’s growing importance on the world stage.

In 2014, India became the first Asian country to reach Mars when it launched the Mangalyaan spacecraft for $74 million, less than the $100 million Hollywood spent on the space thriller “Gravity.”

Three years later, India set a record by launching 104 satellites in a single mission.

In 2019, Modi announced in a rare televised address that India had shot down one of its own satellites in what it said was an anti-satellite test, becoming one of four countries to do so.

In the same year, then ISRO chief Kailasavadivo Sivan said that India plans to build an independent space station by 2030. Currently, only the International Space Station (a multi-national joint project) and China’s space stations are available to crew. Tiangong Space Station.

Rapid growth and innovation have made space technology one of the most attractive fields for investors, and world leaders seem to have taken notice.

Last month, when Modi met President Joe Biden in Washington, the White House announced that the two leaders had sought greater cooperation in the space economy.

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India’s space ambitions do not stop at the Moon or Mars. ISRO has also proposed to send an orbiter to Venus.

Arzu Daniel

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