Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, who has been instrumental in innovating the country’s space sector, said the Chandrayaan-3 mission will be successful and a game-changing event for India.
”The Chandrayaan-3 will definitely change the game for India and I hope it succeeds. India will become an inspiration to the entire world. Let’s wait for the launch and pray for the best,” Nambi Narayanan told ANI.
Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar exploration mission, will make India the fourth country to land its spacecraft on the surface of the moon and demonstrate the country’s ability to safely and smoothly land on the lunar surface.
The countdown to the launch of the mission began on Thursday at 2:35 pm IST before liftoff on Friday from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota. The spacecraft will launch on a GSLV Mark 3 Heavy Launch Vehicle (LVM 3).
This will be the follow-up attempt by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) after the Chandrayaan-2 mission faced challenges during its soft landing in 2019.
“I’m taking over and I hope it’s a successful mission. Because whatever the problem is in Chandrayaan-2, we actually fixed everything. Since the failure, we understand all the mistakes (on our part)”, Narayanan told ANI, as the countdown to the long-awaited event has just begun.
The success of this spacecraft to be launched to the moon will be a great success and would inspire the country, former Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientist and recipient of India’s third highest civilian award, ‘Padma Bhushan’.
Narayanan is the scientist who led a team to develop the ‘Vikas Engine’ – one of the mainstays of all Indian rockets and helped the country enter the era of PSLV rockets.
“I am happy to see that the whole country is waiting anxiously for this launch. That’s something interesting,” he told ANI.
He also praised the central government for its reforms – it has allowed private companies to participate and leverage the potential that the space sector has to offer.
“(Allowing private companies to participate in the space sector) would mean there will be greater employment potential as well as some innovative ideas can gain good shape,” he said.
“Look, there are, I don’t know the number, but they (the government) say something like 150-160 space startups are there. Not all of them may have been well formed, but some of them certainly are well formed.”
“This is a high-tech area. That’s where I say the success of this (mission) will prove its ability to deal with high-tech areas. Then there will be more people coming your way.”
When asked how challenging these missions are, he said “No. Actually, I wouldn’t say challenge. But I would say it’s a reconfirmation. See, last time too, we actually lost. You remember everything happened and then you went into orbit, into the moon, into lunar orbit and you couldn’t land smoothly. That’s what you failed. And this is purely because of some software issue and of course also associated with some mechanical issues. Now this time they are all covered.
“I mean, there’s no reason it should fail. And I’m already looking forward to your success, but anyway, for that you have to wait until August 23rd or 24th.”
The trip from Earth to the Moon for the spacecraft to be launched is estimated to take about a month and the landing is scheduled for August 23rd.
If all goes well, Chandrayaan-3 will be the first spacecraft to land at the Moon’s South Pole, demonstrating India’s technical prowess and bold space ambitions. In addition, India will be the fourth country in the world, after the US, China and Russia, to send something to the Moon.
During the Chandrayaan-2 mission, ISRO lost contact with the lander when it was just a notch from the moon’s surface.
The development phase of Chandrayaan-3 started in January 2020 with plans to launch it sometime in 2021, but the Covid-19 pandemic caused delays in the development process.
The great discovery of the Chandrayaan-1 mission, launched in 2008, is the detection of water (H2O) and hydroxyl (OH) on the lunar surface. The data also revealed their increased abundance towards the polar region.
The main scientific objective of the mission was to prepare a three-dimensional atlas of the near and far sides of the Moon and to conduct chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface with high spatial resolution, said ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Center.
The Moon serves as a repository of Earth’s past, and a successful lunar mission from India will help improve life on Earth and prepare to explore the rest of the solar system – and beyond.