Chandrayaan 3 takes 40-day Journey to Moon: Explained Journey, Functionality, and Comparison
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Exploring Chandrayaan 3 Lunar Orbiter: Journey, Functionality, and Comparison. Chandrayaan 3 takes 40-day Journey to Moon: Explained Journey, Functionality, and Comparison

In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into the fascinating workings of Chandrayaan 3, India’s lunar orbiter mission. We’ll explore the reasons behind its unique trajectory, the step-by-step process of its functionality, and a brief comparison with the Russian Luna 25 Lander.

Why the Chandrayaan 3 takes 40-day Journey?

A significant question arises when comparing Chandrayaan 3’s 40-day journey to the Moon’s southern pole with the relatively shorter travel times of other lunar missions. For instance, China’s Chang’e 2 took just four days, and even the pioneering Soviet Union’s Luna 1 managed the journey in 36 hours. The answer lies in budget constraints; the ISRO program operates on a budget of $75 million, necessitating cost-effective methods. Hence, Chandrayaan 3 creatively employs the gravitational pull of the Moon and Earth, given its less powerful rockets.

The Chandrayaan 3 Journey – Step by Step:
  1. Launch Vehicle LVM-3: Chandrayaan 3’s launch vehicle, the LVM-3, is a three-stage medium lift. It consists of a payload fairing capable of carrying the Chandrayaan 3 spacecraft.
  2. Rocket Functionality: The LVM-3 uses a stage combustion cycle with liquid-fueled engines for the core and supplementary boosters. Solid propellant boosters provide extra thrust during the initial launch phase.
  3. Upper Stage Propulsion: The upper stage of LVM-3 features the indigenous cryogenic engine C20, providing the necessary thrust for the intended orbit.
  4. Boosters Ignition: The launch begins with simultaneous ignition of the two boosters. Following this, the core stage L110 ignites around 113 seconds into the flight.
  5. Fairing Detachment: At around 217 seconds after launch, the payload fairing housing the satellite detaches at an altitude of 115 kilometers.
  6. Orbit Raising Maneuvers: Chandrayaan 3’s integrated module, after orbiting for a few hours, shifts orientation toward the Sun. Using a slingshot technique, it harnesses the gravitational pull of Earth and internal thrusters to achieve the Moon’s orbit.
  7. Moon Earth Orbit Capture: The module is captured in the Moon Earth orbit, using thrusters to slow down.
  8. Lander Separation: The Lander separates from the Orbiter.
  9. Orbiter’s Role: Even after detachment, the lunar orbiter continues scanning the lunar surface for potential landing sites.
  10. De-Boosting and Landing: The Lander initiates de-boosting procedures, leading to a successful soft landing.
  11. Rover Exploration: After landing, the Rover explores the lunar surface and conducts scientific experiments.
Comparison with Russian Luna 25 Lander:

The Russian Luna 25 Lander also targets the Moon’s South Pole, a region rich in potential resources. Due to extreme cold and prolonged darkness in this area, both Chandrayaan 3 and Luna 25 will face challenges. However, Luna 25 has an advantage; it utilizes a radioisotope device with plutonium to generate heat during the cold lunar night, potentially allowing it to function for extended periods.

In conclusion, Chandrayaan 3’s 40-day journey and unique trajectory are rooted in budget constraints. Its ingenious use of gravitational forces showcases ISRO’s resourcefulness. The step-by-step process, from launch to landing, highlights the precision and complexity involved. Comparing it to the Russian Luna 25 Lander emphasizes the technological advancements and challenges faced by lunar exploration missions.

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