India successfully launches lunar mission 

Indian Space Research Organisation

India’s Chandrayaan-3 Lunar mission launched successfully on July 14, 2023, at 14.35 local time. 

The rocket lifted off from Sriharikota Space Center in the state of Andhra Pradesh, on the country’s southeastern coast. 

This is India’s third lunar mission and, if successful, the South Asian nation will become the fourth country to perform a soft landing on the Moon’s surface, following the US, the Soviet Union and China.  

This mission was preceded by Chandrayaan-2, launched in 2019. That mission was also expected to land on the Moon and deploy a Rover, but the component in question crashed upon landing (though the orbiting component of Chandrayaan-2 remains operative). 

The voyage to the Moon will take about four weeks, with an estimated arrival date of 23-24 August. During this time, the spacecraft will orbit the Earth and the Moon in phases as it approaches its designated landing spot, close to the Moon’s south pole. 

Chandrayaan-3 is carrying a Lunar Rover, with which the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) intends to conduct research, exploring the relatively little-studied polar region of the Moon. 

Russia was also planning to launch its own Lunar mission, called Luna 25, within hours of the Indian one, but shortly before launch it was postponed until at least August 10.  

Luna 25 is the first Russian mission to the Moon since the Soviet era and was also expected to soft land near the satellite’s south pole. 

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