New in Chandrayaan-3: key upgrades that bring hope and confidence
Chandrayaan-3, India’s third Moon mission, took off from the Sriharikota launching range on Friday. The mission hopes to put behind the failure of Chandrayaan-2, which had crashed on the lunar surface in 2019. Important improvements have been made in the design to ensure that another accident is avoided.
While attempting a soft-landing on September 7, 2019, Chandrayaan-2 had failed to reduce its speed to the desired level in the final seconds of descent. Scientists later detected problems in both the software and the hardware — in consequence, the software and hardware in Chandrayaan-3 have been equipped with several additional capabilities.
A Lander does not have wheels; it has stilts, or legs, which are supposed to touch down on the lunar surface, and then stabilise. Chandrayaan-2 lost control over its descent around 7.2 km from the surface of the Moon. Its communications system relayed data of the loss of control up to around 400 m above the surface. The Lander had slowed down to about 580 km/hr when it crashed.