The Success of Chandrayaan-3 provides a significant boost to ISRO’s first human spaceflight programme

The historic launch of India’s third Moon mission, Chandrayaan-3, onboard an LVM3-M4 rocket has provided a significant boost to the country’s first human spaceflight effort, since the same launch vehicle with ‘human rated’ capability would be utilised for the ambitious Gaganyaan mission. The Bengaluru-based Indian Space Research Organisation is hard at work on its flagship project, Gaganyaan, which aims to demonstrate human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of three members into a 400km orbit for three days and safely returning them to Earth by landing in sea waters.

At 2.35 p.m. on July 14, India’s third moon mission, Chandrayaan-3, was successfully launched onboard a Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM-3) rocket from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

This is India’s second effort at soft-landing robotic instruments on the lunar surface, following the failure of Chandrayaan-2 in 2019.

Only three countries, the United States, Russia, and China, have successfully soft-landed on the moon.

ISRO Chairman S. Somanath told reporters after the successful launch that the following 42 days are critical. “According to the nominal schedule, we will have five earthbound manoeuvres [that] will conclude on July 31.” Then there’s the trans-lunar insertion, which will happen on August 1. It will thereafter be grabbed [by the moon].This will be followed on August 17 by the separation of the propulsion module and the lander module. “The landing is currently scheduled for August 23 at 5.47 p.m. IST, assuming everything goes as planned,” he added.

Modi’s new chapter

Prime Minister Narendra ┬áModi praised the launch, saying, “Chandrayaan-3 writes a new chapter in India’s space odyssey.” It soars high, boosting every Indian’s goals and desires… This historic feat is a credit to our scientists’ unwavering dedication. I applaud their courage and resourcefulness!”

“It is truly a moment of glory for India,” said Minister of State Jitendra Singh, who was present during the unveiling. Thank you, ISRO team, for making India proud… Today is also a day of vindication: vindication of Vikram Sarabhai’s dream from six decades ago.”

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