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What is the main task of India’s third moon mission which could not be achieved in its earlier mission? List the countries that have achieved this task. Introduce the subsystems in the spacecraft launched and explain the role of the ‘Virtual Launch Control Centre’ at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre which contributed to the successful launch from Sriharikota. (250 words)

Introduction: India’s ambitious journey to the moon, through its Chandrayaan series, has been a testament to its growing space prowess. Chandrayaan-3, the third moon mission, aimed to accomplish what its predecessor could not. As of 2022-2023, only a few nations have achieved this feat.

India’s Third Moon Mission: Chandrayaan-3

  • Objective Not Achieved in Earlier Mission: Chandrayaan-3’s primary goal was a successful soft landing on the moon’s surface, a task Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander could not complete.
  • Countries That Have Achieved Soft Landing: The nations that have successfully achieved a soft landing on the moon include the USA, the former Soviet Union, and China.

Subsystems in Chandrayaan-3 Spacecraft

  • Lander: Designed for a soft landing on the moon. It houses the instruments and serves as a platform for the rover.
  • Rover: A vehicle that moves on the lunar surface, collecting data and sending it back to Earth.
  • Propulsion System: Helps in maneuvering the spacecraft and placing it in the desired lunar orbit.
  • Communication System: Facilitates communication between the spacecraft and the ground station on Earth.
  • Payloads: Instruments onboard designed to study the moon’s surface, composition, and other scientific objectives.

Role of the ‘Virtual Launch Control Centre’ at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

  • Central Control: The Virtual Launch Control Centre (VLCC) serves as the nerve center during the launch, overseeing all operations.
  • Real-time Monitoring: It provides real-time data and visuals of the launch, ensuring that all parameters are within the desired range.
  • Safety Protocols: In case of any anomalies, the VLCC can initiate safety protocols, including mission abort.
  • Coordination: The VLCC coordinates between various ground stations and the launch vehicle, ensuring seamless communication.

Conclusion: As India continues its journey in space exploration, it is essential to learn from past missions and innovate for the future. Collaborative efforts, technological advancements, and international cooperation will pave the way for more successful missions.

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