Chandrayaan-3 is the third Indian lunar exploration mission under the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Chandrayaan programme. It consists of a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyan, similar to those of the Chandrayaan-2 mission. The propulsion module carried the lander and rover configuration to lunar orbit in preparation for a descent the lander.
Chandrayaan-3 was launched aboard an LVM3-M4 rocket on 14 July 2023, at 2:35 pm IST from Satish Dhawan Space Centre Second Launch Pad in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India, entering an Earth parking orbit with a perigee of 170 km (106 mi) and an apogee of 36,500 km (22,680 mi).
The lander and rover landed near the lunar south pole region on 23 August 2023 at 18:02 IST, making India the first country to successfully land a spacecraft near the lunar south pole and the fourth country to soft-land on the Moon.
Chandrayaan-3, India’s lunar mission, and Gaganyaan, the country’s first astronaut program, are two of the most prestigious missions of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
ISRO set the following mission objectives for the Chandrayaan-3 mission:
- Getting a lander to land safely and softly on the surface of the Moon.
- Observing and demonstrating the rover’s driving capabilities on the Moon.
- Conducting and observing experiments on the materials available on the lunar surface to better understand the composition of the Moon.
- ISRO Chairperson: S. Somanath
- Mission Director: S. Mohanakumar
- Associate Mission Director: G. Narayanan
- Project Director: P. Veeramuthuvel
- Deputy Project Director: Kalpana. K
- Vehicle Director: Biju C. Thomas