Chandrayaan-3- Why is this Mission a Giant Leap for India?

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India’s journey to the moon, symbolized by the Chandrayaan-3 mission, stands as a testament to the nation’s dedication and perseverance in space exploration. A culmination of lessons learned, technological innovations, and a renewed zeal, the mission not only resonates with the technical sphere but also stirs the emotions and pride of 1.4 billion Indians.

This topic of “Chandrayaan-3- Why is this Mission a Giant Leap for India?” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

The Historical Touchdown

  • Chandrayaan-3’s Descent:
    • At 5:40 p.m., August 23, the 1.7-tonne Chandrayaan-3 commenced its descent from 30 km above the moon.
    • Achieved a soft landing on the moon’s South Polar region after a 23-minute descent.
    • India becomes the fourth nation to achieve this feat and the first for this specific lunar region.
  • Significance of the Success:
    • The achievement symbolizes a triumph of human will in complex space missions.
    • Serves as a source of national pride, galvanizing the entire nation.
    • A rebound from Chandrayaan-2’s near-miss in 2019 where contact was lost 2.1 km above the lunar surface.
  • Upgrades from Previous Missions:
    • Analysis of Chandrayaan-2’s failure led to the modification of 21 subsystems.
    • Chandrayaan-3 incorporates numerous redundancies to ensure mission success.

Broader Context: India on the Global Space Stage

  • India and the Artemis Accords:
    • India is a participant in the U.S.-led effort aiming for human moon landings by 2025.
    • India’s recent lunar success positions it as a leader among Artemis countries.
  • Comparisons with Other Nations:
    • Russia’s recent Luna-25 mission failure highlights contrasting trajectories in lunar exploration.
    • While Russia and China spearhead the International Lunar Research Station programme, India’s achievements make it a prominent player in the space race.
  • India’s Technological Advancements:
    • Mastery over different types of interplanetary spacecraft: orbiters, landers, and rovers.
    • Focus on the planning and implementation of scientific missions.
    • Chandrayaan-3 to provide first-of-its-kind data on the moon’s South Pole, boosting India’s technological superiority.
    • Need to expand space-based research beyond just earth-observation and remote-sensing.

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The Journey Ahead

  • Future Lunar Missions:
    • India’s lunar exploration phase two concludes with Chandrayaan-3.
    • Phase three to involve collaboration with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for the Lunar Polar Exploration (LUPEX) mission, focusing on water-ice studies.
  • Strategic Path for ISRO:
    • Chandrayaan-3’s success empowers ISRO’s future initiatives including:
      • Quantum communications, human space flights, reusable launch vehicles, planetary habitation, and more.
    • The success emphasizes the importance of private sector contributions for innovation and expansion.
    • The mission underscores the importance of consistent funding, avoiding delays like those seen due to Chandrayaan-2’s setback and the COVID-19 pandemic.

India’s Socio-cultural Connection with Space

  • Emotions Tied to Chandrayaan-3:
    • The mission serves as a beacon of hope and symbol of national pride.
    • Collective memories of Chandrayaan-2’s near success remain etched in public memory, amplifying the stakes for Chandrayaan-3.
  • Cultural Significance of the Moon:
    • The moon holds a special place in various cultures, from childhood stories to cultural metaphors.
    • Space exploration taps into humanity’s innate curiosity, attracting mass appeal.
  • Global Implications:
    • Other space-faring nations keenly observe India’s progress, especially after recent mission failures by other countries.
    • India’s success on the global space front enhances its diplomatic position in forums such as the BRICS summit.

Way Forward

India should leverage its recent success to:

  • Foster collaborations with other space-faring nations.
  • Encourage private sector participation to spur innovations.
  • Prioritize scientific outcomes alongside engineering feats for more holistic space missions.
  • Continually invest in research to ensure sustained growth in the space domain.


The success of Chandrayaan-3 not only heralds a new era in India’s space exploration endeavors but also reverberates with the aspirations and emotions of its people. The mission serves as a powerful reminder of what can be achieved with dedication, innovation, and collective will. As India sets its eyes on future celestial ventures, Chandrayaan-3 will be remembered as a moment when the nation truly led from the front.

Practice Question for Mains

Discuss the significance of the Chandrayaan 3 mission. (250 words)

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