Historic Landing Near Moon’s South Pole: Chandrayaan 3
On August 23, 2023 at 6:04 pm, India’s lunar mission “Chandrayaan-3” created history by successfully soft landing on the lunar surface.
It may be noted that with the lander Vikram performing a ‘soft landing’ on the south pole of the Moon, India has become the only country to do so.
India became the fourth country after the United States, China and the erstwhile Soviet Union to master the technology of soft-landing on the Moon also.
Three objectives of the Chandrayaan-3 mission:
- To perform a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, to demonstrate the rover moving on the Moon, and to conduct in-situ scientific experiments.
- Soft landing simply means a slow, controlled descent of a spacecraft so as not to damage it.
- Doing so demonstrates the technical capabilities of the spacecraft. The landing site is near the south pole of the Moon at 70 degree latitude.
- Let us tell you that all the previous spacecraft that have landed on the Moon before this have landed in the area near the equator of the Moon, because it is easier and safer.
- The lander and rover, with a mission life of one lunar day (14 Earth days), have scientific payloads for conducting experiments on the lunar surface.
- The Chandrayaan-3 mission was launched on July 14 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota.
Polar Regions of the Moon:
- The polar regions of the Moon are distinct. Many parts are in a completely dark region without sunlight, and the temperature can drop below 230 °C. This creates difficulty in operating the equipment.
- The extremely cold temperatures can mean that anything trapped in the area will remain frozen there without much change. So the rocks and soil of the Moon’s north and south poles can provide clues about the early Solar System. In addition, there are large craters everywhere. So soft landing is difficult there.
- The South Pole is also an area of potential. Scientists believe that craters in this region may contain ice, making it possible for water to exist.
Source – Indian Express