In a momentous feat that has captured the world’s imagination, Chandrayaan-3, India’s pride and joy, has achieved an awe-inspiring landing on the lunar surface. With cheers and applause reverberating through the mission control center, this success stands as a testament to human innovation, perseverance, and the marvels of space exploration.
Chandrayaan-3 follows Chandrayaan-2 and aims to show how we can safely land and move around on the Moon. It has two parts, the Lander and the Rover. The big rocket called LVM3 launched from a place called SDSC SHAR in Sriharikota. The part that helped it move in space carried the Lander and Rover until it was 100 km away from the Moon. This part also has something called the Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) to study how Earth looks from the Moon’s orbit.
Let’s know more about it!
Picture a spacecraft journeying through the vastness of space, hurdling towards a destination 384,400 kilometers away – the Moon. This cosmic traveler, Chandrayaan-3, carries with it the hopes of an entire nation and the curiosity of a species hungry for knowledge. It’s not just any landing; it’s the kind that propels us further into the universe. But landing on the Moon is trickier than you might think. There are no fluffy clouds or soft grass; it’s a rugged, rocky surface with lots of craters.
Here’s where technology takes center stage. Chandrayaan-3 is equipped with advanced sensors and cameras that work together like a team of detectives. As the spacecraft approaches the Moon, these sensors keep a keen eye on the surface. They measure the distance to the ground, create detailed maps, and analyze the terrain for potential landing sites.
But there’s a challenge. Imagine driving a car blindfolded, and you’ll get an idea of the difficulty of landing on the Moon without proper vision. That’s where Chandrayaan-3’s cameras come to the rescue. These cameras capture high-resolution images of the lunar surface, helping the spacecraft pick a safe spot to touch down.
Now, let’s talk about AI – the brain behind this lunar endeavor. AI is like having a super-smart friend who can quickly make sense of complex things. In Chandrayaan-3’s case, AI helps the spacecraft make split-second decisions.
As the spacecraft descends toward the Moon, it encounters unexpected challenges like bumpy terrain or sudden gusts of moon dust. This is where AI steps in. It analyzes the data from the sensors and cameras in real time, just like a pilot adjusting their flight path during a turbulent ride. If the AI senses any potential danger, it can adjust the spacecraft’s course to ensure a safer landing.
Chandrayaan 3 is made up of three parts: there’s a Lander module called Vikram, a Propulsion module, and a Rover named Pragyan. The Propulsion module and the Lander module, which holds the Rover, have already been separated.
It’s fascinating that Chandrayaan 3’s descent phase happens all by itself. There’s no need for people to control it. When the descent starts, the lander operates independently. It will rely on AI to figure out how to land and to make a map of where it is on the moon’s surface.
The Vikram Lander is equipped with many sensors, including camera sensors. These sensors do various jobs. Some help figure out where the lander is and how it’s moving, like the Laser Inertial Referencing and Accelerometer Package (LIRAP), and the Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC). Others measure distances, like the Ka-Band Altimeter (KaRA) and the Laser Altimeter (LASA). The Laser Doppler Velocimeter (LDV) checks how fast the lander is going. There’s also a camera called Lander Hazard Detection & Avoidance Camera (LHDAC) to keep an eye out for any dangers.
The lander also carries special tools to do experiments. These include Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA), Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE), Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA), and Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA). With these tools and the technology on board, the lander will conduct different kinds of experiments.
Let’s talk about the Pragyan Rover. When the Lander gets to the moon’s surface, the Rover will separate from it. Then, the Rover will use things like Rx/Tx antennae to talk to the Lander. The Rover has a job: to move around the moon’s surface and figure out what things are made of. It has special cameras to help it move, along with antennae.
The Rover also carries special tools, like the laser-induced breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). These tools will help the Rover learn a lot about the moon. With these tools and its technology, the Rover will gather really good information and send it back to us.
Now, let’s talk about the Propulsion Module. It has a 440N Liquid Engine, and it also has a star sensor, solar panel, and TTC antenna. It carries something special called the Spectro-polarimetry of the HAbitable Planet Earth (SHAPE). One of its jobs is to study different Exo-planets to see if they could be good places for life.
Imagine technology and AI as a pair of synchronized dancers, gracefully guiding Chandrayaan-3 through its descent. The technology captures the Moon’s landscape, while AI processes this information and offers solutions for a safe landing. This teamwork ensures that the spacecraft avoids obstacles, finds a smooth spot, and gently lands on the Moon’s surface.
This triumphant landing isn’t an end; it’s a new beginning. Chandrayaan-3’s success paves the way for further explorations, sparking discussions about the Moon’s mysteries and its potential for scientific discoveries. It’s a chapter in the story of humanity’s relentless pursuit of knowledge, where each accomplishment fuels our desire to reach for the stars.
As the news of Chandrayaan-3’s safe landing reverberates around the world, it’s a moment to celebrate not just a technological achievement, but a victory of the human spirit. In the face of challenges and uncertainties, we’ve shown that with determination, collaboration, and cutting-edge technology, we can touch the heavens. With this triumphant landing, Chandrayaan-3 has engraved its name in the accounts of history, reminding us that the cosmos is not beyond our reach – it’s a canvas waiting to be explored, one mission at a time.