The country has sent this spacecraft to the south pole of the moon at a lower cost than the cost of making any full-length film! 615 core in Indian rupees, 74.6 million in US dollars.
Indian spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 has created history. The spacecraft landed on the south pole of the moon at 6:34 pm on July 23. It has fallen almost all over the world.. The main reason behind this is already known in the media. No spacecraft from any country has ever ‘successfully’ landed on the Moon’s South Pole. India has made the impossible so far possible.
That was enough to make history. But there are more reasons. And that’s not to be trifled with. The country has sent this spacecraft to the south pole of the moon at a lower cost than the cost of making any full-length film! 615 core in Indian rupees, 74.6 million in US dollars. It is difficult to make a full-length film under 100 million. So it goes without saying that it is worth celebrating!
A few things need to be clarified here before we get to the main story. The word ‘successfully’ in the first paragraph needs a little explanation. It is also necessary to understand what the problem with the moon going to the South Pole. Then you have to understand, how India sent an entire spacecraft to the moon at such a low cost.
As the other side of the moon cannot be seen, it is called ‘dark side of the moon’ in English. This dark does not mean darkness, but the unknown. The sun also shines on the other side of the moon. However, some areas of the opposite side are shaded, and there are ditches.
There are several types of landings. We understand the crash landing issue. When any aircraft or spacecraft loses control and lands on its face, it is called a crash landing. In Bengali it is called uncontrolled landing. But when an aircraft or spacecraft crashes due to partial loss of control, it is called hard landing. That means the driver still has some control, but not all. Call it a bumpy landing if you want. And if it lands perfectly, it is called soft landing or normal landing.
Indian spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 has landed naturally on the South Pole of the Moon. No other country could do this before. However, before that, on September 6, 2019, Chandrayaan-2 completely lost control and fell face down. It was also sent to the South Pole of the Moon. Before that, Chandrayaan-1 was launched in a controlled manner on the moon. That is, the hard landing was done on purpose. But it broke down after a few days. It too, however, was sent to the ‘Southern Hemisphere’ of the Moon.
So, how many countries did India send astronauts to the moon? Answer: As the fifth country. But if you count the normal number of spacecraft landings, India is fourth. The former three countries are the United States, China and the Soviet Union. The UK space agency ISAO has also sent a spacecraft to the moon, but has not been able to make a soft landing.
This time it is necessary to understand a little about the hemisphere. The line that passes through the center of the moon, like the earth, is also called the equator. On one side of this line is the Northern Hemisphere or Northern Region; on the other side is the Southern Hemisphere or Southern Region. The southernmost point or region in the southern hemisphere is called the South Pole. Earlier, China’s probe Shang-4 also visited the southern hemisphere of the moon. But no country could send any spacecraft to the South Pole. Why?
To understand the answer, it is necessary to talk a little about the two sides of the moon. The Moon is trapped by Earth’s gravitational pull so that only one side of it is visible from Earth. This particular locking is scientifically called tidal lock.
The Moon is tidally locked with the Earth. It rotates on its own axis. Since only one side is visible from Earth, it is easy to send spacecraft to this side. It is difficult to send a ship to the other side. And if it is at the other extreme, then you can understand how difficult the work becomes! That is the south pole of the moon. Chandrayaan-3 landed here.
As the other side of the moon cannot be seen, it is called ‘dark side of the moon’ in English. This dark does not mean darkness, but the unknown. The sun also shines on the other side of the moon. However, some areas of the opposite side are shaded, and there are ditches. However, this ‘dark’ naming has nothing to do with it.
What is the problem of going to the other side of the moon, what is a successful soft landing – everything is understood. Now the question is, how did India accomplish this difficult task?
First of all, we have to talk about the efforts of the Indian government. India has invested substantially in science and research over the past 70 years. Became a nuclear power, invested in space exploration. All these years of investment and hard work have come together in this campaign.
Also, if we take into account the low cost of labor in the labor market of India, that is, South Asia, then the issue of cost reduction becomes much clearer. Apart from that, India has used completely indigenous technology in this regard. All made by themselves. That’s why the cost has come down so much.
Apart from this, India has used another thing. Its name is Slingshot. That is, to change the trajectory of the spaceship by using the gravity of a cosmic object. India has done that. That is why the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft had to go around the moon several times. The earth also had to turn many times while leaving the earth. The spacecraft changed its orbit slightly during each rotation. That is why Chandrayaan-3 spent the first 17 days in the earth’s orbit. Then spent 23 days in the orbit of the moon. India has saved money by spending so much time. ‘Time is money’ – the exact application of this word can be said!
It has gone to the moon, now what will Chandrayaan-3 do? To get the answer to this question, it is necessary to know a little about the structure and parts of the spacecraft.
According to information on the official Chandrayaan-3 mission page of the Indian space research agency ISRO, it has three main components. The first part is call the Propulsion Module. It has only one main payload. Payload means the object that a spacecraft primarily carries. In this case the payload is Spectropolarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth, SHAPE for short.
Various experiments will be conducted with this device in this campaign. Collecting and measuring various atmospheric data, spectroscopic analysis will be done with this instrument. The spacecraft is powered by a 440 Newton liquid fuel engine. It also has a star sensor, a tracking, telemetry and command antenna and a solar cell.
The second major component is the Vikram Lander. This has contributed to the normal landing of the spacecraft. It will also help in the research work on the lunar surface for the next 14 days. It has a payloadRadio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere, RAMBHA for short. It has many other interesting devices, sensors and different types of cameras.
The third part is call Pragyan Rover. It consists of an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer or APXS and a Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer or LIBS (LIBS). These will be useful in studying the mineral and chemical composition of the lunar surface.
The main purpose of Chandrayaan-3 is to find out if there is water or not on the moon, rocks, sand etc. We still don’t know much about the other side of the moon. Scientists all over the world are hoping that Chandrayaan-3 will shed some light in this darkness of the unknown.
Sources: Anandabazar, Wikipedia and Aljazeera, bigganchinta