Chandrayaan 3 UPSC – Know About India’s Lunar Mission

Chandrayaan 3 UPSC - Know About India’s Lunar Mission

Chandrayaan 3 UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ): Recently, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully conducted the flight acceptance hot test of the CE-20 cryogenic engine. This engine will power the cryogenic upper stage of the launch vehicle for the upcoming Chandrayaan-3 mission. The successful completion of this test is a significant milestone in the preparations for the Chandrayaan-3 mission, which aims to land a rover on the lunar surface.

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The CE-20 cryogenic engine is designed to provide high thrust and efficiency for the final stage of the launch vehicle, enabling it to reach the desired orbit around the Moon. ISRO’s efforts in developing and testing advanced technologies for space exploration demonstrate India’s commitment to expanding its capabilities in the field of space science and exploration.

What is Chandrayaan 3?

Chandrayaan 3 is the third lunar exploration mission planned by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It aims to demonstrate India’s capability to achieve a soft landing on a celestial body. The spacecraft will consist of a rover and lander, which will communicate with the Earth through an orbiter from the previous Chandrayaan 2 mission.

Chandrayaan 3 is a follow-up mission to Chandrayaan 2, which included an orbiter, rover, and lander. However, the lander, named Vikram, experienced a failure during its attempted soft landing, preventing the rover, Pragyaan, from exploring the lunar surface. The purpose of Chandrayaan 3 is to showcase India’s landing capabilities required for future lunar missions, particularly the Lunar Polar Exploration Mission, which is planned in collaboration with Japan in 2024.

The spacecraft will focus on exploring the Moon’s south pole, specifically areas that have not received sunlight for billions of years. Scientists believe that these shadowed regions may contain ice and valuable mineral resources. Chandrayaan 3 will study the lunar surface, sub-surface, and exosphere. The images captured by the rover will be transmitted to Earth through the orbiter.

The lander of Chandrayaan 3 will be equipped with four throttle-able engines and a Laser Doppler Velocimeter (LDV). Exploring the Moon is of great importance for scientists as it provides opportunities to test space technologies, gain insights into extraterrestrial territories, advance technology development, inspire future scientists, and foster international collaborations. Additionally, studying the Moon offers valuable information about the history of the solar system and the early Earth.

Targeting the Moon’s south pole is significant due to the presence of larger shadowed areas compared to the north pole. Scientists speculate that these shadowed regions may harbor a permanent water source. Furthermore, the craters in the southern pole, known as cold traps, are of interest as they may contain ancient records of the early planetary system.

What is the Chandrayaan-3 Mission?

Chandrayaan-3 is the third lunar mission of India and serves as a continuation of the Chandrayaan-2 mission. The objective of Chandrayaan-3 is to land a rover on the lunar South Pole. The mission is planned to be launched in 2023 using the Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

Following the unsuccessful landing of the Vikram lander during Chandrayaan-2, the decision was made to pursue Chandrayaan-3 to showcase the required landing capabilities for the proposed Lunar Polar Exploration Mission in collaboration with Japan, scheduled for 2024.

Chandrayaan-3 will consist of three major modules: the Propulsion module, Lander module, and Rover. The propulsion module will carry the lander and rover configuration to a lunar orbit of 100 km. The Lander module will possess the capability to perform a soft landing at a designated lunar site and deploy the Rover. The Rover will then conduct in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface as it explores and moves across the lunar terrain.

Chandrayaan 3 UPSC Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q.1 Consider the following statements: (2016)

The Mangalyaan launched by ISRO

  1. is also called the Mars Orbiter Mission
  2. made India the second country to have a spacecraft orbit the Mars after the USA
  3. made India the only country to be successful in making its spacecraft orbit the Mars in its very first attempt

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only (b) 2 and 3 only (c) 1 and 3 only (d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (c)

Explanation: The first statement is correct as the Mangalyaan launched by ISRO is indeed referred to as the Mars Orbiter Mission. The second statement is incorrect as India is the fourth country, not the second, to have a spacecraft orbit Mars after the USA, Russia, and the European Space Agency. However, the third statement is correct as India became the first country to successfully orbit Mars in its maiden attempt. Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer.


Q.1 What is India’s plan to have its own space station and how will it benefit our space programme? (2019)

India has plans to establish its own space station in the future. The announcement regarding this was made by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2019. The plan is to have a modular space station that can accommodate astronauts for extended durations and support scientific research.

The establishment of a space station will provide several benefits to India’s space program. Firstly, it will enhance India’s capabilities in human spaceflight and space exploration. It will enable Indian astronauts to conduct long-duration missions, which will contribute to our understanding of living and working in space.

Secondly, having its own space station will strengthen India’s position in the international space community. It will establish India as a key player in space research and exploration, and foster collaboration with other countries in space missions and scientific experiments.

Additionally, the development and operation of a space station will drive advancements in technology, engineering, and manufacturing sectors. It will stimulate the growth of industries related to space exploration, satellite development, and space tourism, leading to economic benefits and job creation.

Furthermore, a space station will serve as a platform for conducting scientific experiments in microgravity environments, which can contribute to advancements in fields such as medicine, materials science, and agriculture. It will also provide opportunities for training and developing a skilled workforce in space-related technologies.

Overall, having its own space station will significantly enhance India’s space program by advancing human spaceflight capabilities, fostering international collaborations, driving technological advancements, and contributing to scientific research and socio-economic development.

Q.2 Discuss India’s achievements in the field of Space Science and Technology. How the application of this technology has helped India in its socio-economic development? (2016)

India has made significant achievements in the field of space science and technology, establishing itself as a leading space-faring nation. Some notable accomplishments include:

  1. Launching Satellites: India has developed the capability to design, build, and launch its own satellites. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched numerous satellites for various purposes, such as communication, Earth observation, weather forecasting, and navigation.
  2. Mars Orbiter Mission: In 2014, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) successfully entered the orbit of Mars, making India the first country to achieve this feat in its maiden attempt. This mission demonstrated India’s expertise in interplanetary missions and planetary exploration.
  3. Chandrayaan Missions: India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission in 2008 and Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2019 aimed to explore the Moon. Chandrayaan-1 discovered evidence of water molecules on the lunar surface, and Chandrayaan-2 attempted a soft landing near the lunar South Pole, showcasing India’s capabilities in lunar missions.
  4. Satellite Navigation System: India developed its own satellite navigation system called NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation). It provides accurate positioning and timing services for various applications, including transportation, disaster management, and navigation.

The application of space science and technology has contributed to India’s socio-economic development in several ways:

  1. Communication and Broadcasting: Satellite-based communication systems have improved connectivity, especially in remote areas, enabling access to telecommunication services, internet connectivity, and direct-to-home television broadcasting.
  2. Remote Sensing and Earth Observation: Earth observation satellites provide valuable data for monitoring natural resources, land use planning, disaster management, weather forecasting, and agricultural productivity. This information supports decision-making in sectors like agriculture, water resources, urban planning, and environmental management.
  3. Weather Forecasting and Disaster Management: Satellites provide critical data for weather forecasting, cyclone tracking, and early warning systems. Accurate weather information helps in disaster preparedness, mitigation, and response, thereby saving lives and minimizing economic losses.
  4. Resource Mapping and Exploration: Remote sensing satellites aid in mapping and monitoring natural resources, such as minerals, water bodies, forests, and urban infrastructure. This information is utilized in resource planning, environmental conservation, and urban development.
  5. Education and Research: Space technology and satellite-based educational programs have improved access to quality education, especially in rural and remote areas. It has also facilitated scientific research and innovation in various disciplines.

Overall, India’s achievements in space science and technology have had a transformative impact on socio-economic development. They have improved communication, enhanced disaster management capabilities, facilitated resource mapping and exploration, and supported education and research. The application of space technology has contributed to sustainable development, economic growth, and improved quality of life for the people of India.

FAQs – Chandrayaan 3 UPSC (Q&A)

Q: What is Chandrayaan-3?

A: Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third lunar mission, planned by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It aims to demonstrate India’s soft landing capabilities on the lunar surface.

Q: When is the launch of Chandrayaan 3 scheduled?

A: The launch of Chandrayaan-3 is expected to take place in 2023, as per the current plans of ISRO.

Q: What are the key components of Chandrayaan 3?

A: Chandrayaan 3 will consist of a lander and a rover. Unlike Chandrayaan-2, it will not include an orbiter.

Q: What is the objective of Chandrayaan-3?

A: The primary objective of Chandrayaan-3 is to successfully land a rover on the lunar surface and conduct in-situ exploration and analysis.

Q: How will Chandrayaan 3 contribute to India’s space program?

A: Chandrayaan-3 will enhance India’s capabilities in lunar exploration and contribute to the scientific understanding of the Moon’s surface. It will also pave the way for future missions and collaborations in space exploration.

Q: What were the learnings from Chandrayaan-2 that will be applied to Chandrayaan 3?

A: Chandrayaan 3 will incorporate the learnings from the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which includes addressing the issues that led to the Vikram lander’s unsuccessful soft landing on the lunar surface.

Q: What will be the role of the lander and rover in Chandrayaan 3?

A: The lander will be responsible for the soft landing on the lunar surface, while the rover will carry out in-situ analysis and exploration of the lunar terrain.

Q: How will the data from Chandrayaan-3 be utilized?

A: The data collected by the rover during its exploration will be studied by scientists to gain insights into the lunar surface composition, geology, and other scientific aspects.

Q: What are the anticipated benefits of Chandrayaan 3?

A: Chandrayaan 3 is expected to expand India’s knowledge and expertise in lunar missions, contribute to scientific research, and inspire future advancements in space exploration and technology.

Q: Where can I find updates and information about Chandrayaan 3?

A: Official updates and information about Chandrayaan 3 can be obtained from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) website and other reliable sources.

Source: TH

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