It looks like India’s Chandrayaan-3 succumbed to the cold, and its mission is over. The frigid lunar night lasted about two weeks, and a new day has dawned. With that day came hopes of a sunlit revival for the lander and the rover, but the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) says the chances of the spacecraft awakening in the Sun are diminishing by the hour.Continue reading “Day Has Returned, but India’s Lander and Rover have Failed to Wake Up”
Amid its Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon, India’s space agency launched another satellite and this one will study the Sun.
The spacecraft, called Aditya-L1, is bound for the Earth-Sun L1 Lagrange Point, located 1.5 million km from Earth. This will give it a perfect perspective to watch the Sun, similar to NASA’s SOHO mission. It will reach its destination in about three months and then use seven instruments to observe the Sun, its atmosphere, and the solar environment.Continue reading “India Follows its Lunar Mission by Sending a Spacecraft to Study the Sun”
India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar lander and rover are quickly checking all the boxes of planned tasks for the mission. Time is short, as the duo are expected to last just 14 days on the Moon’s surface, or one lunar day, the amount of time the solar-powered equipment is built to last. Therefore, we likely only have until about September 6 or 7 to follow any action. But what a joy to watch the updates coming in from ISRO, the Indian Space Resource Organization.Continue reading “So Much to Do, So Little Time. Chandrayaan-3 Makes the Most of Its Time at the Moon’s South Pole”
On July 14th, 2023, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched the third mission in its Chandrayaan (“Moon vehicle” in Hindi) lunar exploration program. Earlier this week (Wednesday, August 23rd), the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s Vikram lander touched down on the far side of the Moon, making India the fourth nation in the world to send missions to the lunar surface and the first to land one near the Moon’s south pole region. Shortly after that, the ISRO announced that they had deployed Pragyan, the rover element of the mission, to the surface.Continue reading “India's Rover Rolls Out Onto the Lunar Surface”
India’s space agency successfully landed their Chandrayaan-3 lander on the lunar surface, becoming the fourth country to touch down on the Moon and the first to land at one of the lunar poles.
The Indian Space Resource Organization’s (ISRO) Chandrayaan-3 launched last month and made a soft landing on the Moon’s south pole at approximately 8:34 a.m. ET on August 23. The mission is set to begin exploring an area of the Moon that is of extreme interest, but Chandrayaan-3 is the first to visit this area in-situ. The lunar south pole is thought to contain water ice that could be a source of oxygen, fuel, and water for future missions, or perhaps even for a future lunar base or colony.Continue reading “Chandrayaan-3 Lands Successfully on the Moon’s South Pole”
This image of the lunar highlands is from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. You’d need superhuman eyesight to spot it, but India’s crashed Vikram lander is in there somewhere. The lander attempted to land on the Moon on September 6th, but when it was only 2.1 km above the surface, within reach of its objective, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) lost contact with the spacecraft.Continue reading “India’s Crashed Lander is In This Picture, Somewhere”
On Sunday (Sept. 8th), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced that they had located Vikram, the lander element of their Chandrayaan-2 mission. The search began almost immediately after the space agency lost contact with the robotic spacecraft, which occurred moments before it set down on the lunar surface (on Friday, Sept. 6th).Continue reading “India has Located the Vikram Lander, But it’s Still not Communicating With Home”
Reflecting its growth as a global power, India has achieved some impressive progress in space lately. In the past decade, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has sent robotic spacecraft into orbit, to the Moon, and also to Mars. And today, they made their first attempt at a soft lunar landing by sending the Vikram lander towards the surface of the Moon.
This move would have made India the fourth nation in the world to land a spacecraft on the lunar surface. The landing sequence went as planned until the lander reached an altitude of 2.1 km (1.3 mi) above the surface. Unfortunately, communications with the lander was lost at that point and it is unclear whether the lander crashed. At the moment, the ISRO is analyzing data collected by the orbiter to determine what happened.Continue reading “Chandrayaan 2 Mission Loses Contact With Vikram Lander During Descent”
ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) has successfully launched their Chandrayaan-2 mission to the Moon. The mission, which includes an orbiter, a lander, and a rover, was launched into space on a GSLV Mk III rocket on July 22nd, after a week-long delay. On September 7th it will perform a soft-landing on the Moon.Continue reading “India’s Chandrayaan-2 is Heading to the Moon”
Last week, in a move that left many perplexed, the nation of India destroyed one of its own satellites. According to a statement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this operation (“Mission Shakti”) was conducted using a new type of anti-satellite missile. With this one act, Modi claimed that India had “established itself as a space power”, effectively joining the United States, Russia and China.
Unfortunately, this demonstration has created a cloud of orbital debris in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). According to a recent statement made by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, this debris poses an “unacceptable” threat to the International Space Station. In this sense, by flexing its muscle as a space power, India may have caused some serious disruption to international efforts in space.Continue reading “India Destroyed a Satellite With a Missile Last Week, and Pieces Were Thrown Into an Orbit That Risks the International Space Station”