Science & Technology

India keen to not repeat errors in second Lunar landing mission

New Delhi, Jul 11 (EFE).- After the failed attempt to land at the Moon’s unexplored south pole four years ago, India has stuck to its goals in its latest mission – set to take off on Friday – with slight design changes that could turn it into the first country to land a mission on this unexplored part of Earth’s satellite.

The first objective is to carry out a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, after which a rover would be able to move around and carry out “in-situ scientific experiments,” the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) explains on its website.

If successful, the Chandrayaan-3 mission would turn India into the fourth member of a small group of nations to have landed on the Moon, after Russia, the United States and China.

The launch of the new lunar probe, a follow-up mission to Chandrayaan-2, is scheduled to take place at 2.35 pm on Friday from the Sriharikota Range, also known as the Satish Dhawan Space Center, a rocket launch facility situated in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh,

After taking off, the probe would follow the trajectory of the last mission, orbiting the Earth several times before heading towards the Moon’s orbit, where it would settle before carrying out the landing maneuver, scheduled for Aug. 23-24.

However, this date could be delayed by 14 days if sunlight does not reach the landing spot at the time, as solar light is essential for carrying out the landing, ISRO President Sreedhara Somanath said in an interview to a local media outlet.

In order to improve upon its predecessor, which broke apart due to technical problems related to reducing speed while landing, the new probe has been equipped with landing legs that can withstand a speed of 3 meters per second, compared to the 2 m/s limit of Chandrayaan-2, Somanath said.

Similarly, the software has also been improved to handle possible technical errors such as the one that may have caused the 2019 mission to fail.

This time, the mission does not include an orbiter and is only carrying a landing module and the rover that is equipped with instruments to measure thermal conductivity, temperature, seismicity, and ascertaining the elemental composition of the surface near the landing site, according to ISRO.

The mission payload is around 3,900 kilograms, about 50 more than Chandrayaan-2, and the probe would be capable of operating for one lunar day, equivalent to 14 days on the Earth.

During this period, Indian scientists hope to discover more about the mineral composition of the Moon and the possible presence of water.

India’s first lunar mission was Chandrayaan-1, which was put in the lunar orbit in November 2008 and revolved around the Moon over 3,400 times until August 2009. The mission consisted of just an orbiter and did not attempt a landing. EFE


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