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Chandrayaan-3 launch: Will India script history with 3rd moon mission? Countdown begins

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Chandrayaan 3 Launch Updates: India is poised to be only the fourth nation to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon and could then join an elite club.

ISRO Chandrayaan 3 Launch Updates: All eyes are on the highly-anticipated launch of Chandrayaan-3 mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for which the countdown began on Thursday. Scheduled to lift off at 2.35 pm on Friday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota, it is the country’s third lunar expedition, four years after Chandrayaan-2 failed to complete the soft landing.

“LVM3M4-CHANDRAYAAN-3 MISSION: The countdown leading to the launch tomorrow (Friday- July 14) at 14.35 hrs has commenced,” ISRO said in a social media post.

India is poised to be only the fourth nation to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon and could then join an elite club which consists of the United States, China and the former Soviet Union.

The ‘Launch Rehearsal’ simulating the entire launch preparation and process concluded on Tuesday while the Mission Readiness Review was completed by Wednesday.

Ahead of the launch, a group of ISRO scientists offered prayers at the Tirupathi Venkatachalapathy Temple in Andhra Pradesh, carrying a miniature model of the spacecraft.

ISRO has also invited people to witness the blast-off from the Launch View Gallery at Sriharikota.

ISRO Director S Somanath said, “…if everything goes well, it will land (on the moon) on August 23…the date is decided based on when the sunrise is on the moon;…but if it gets delayed, then we will have to keep the landing for the next month in September.”

The spacecraft will be launched on a GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle. The LVM3-M4 rocket (formerly GSLVMkI II) dubbed as ‘Fat Boy’ for its ability to carry heavy payload, would carry Chandrayaan-3 on.

Chandrayaan-3 mission consists of an indigenous propulsion module, lander module and a rover with an objective of developing and demonstrating new technologies required for inter-planetary missions.

Chandrayaan, which means “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit, was built on a budget of just under $75 million. It is the first major mission since the Narendra Modi government announced policies to boost investment in private space launches.

The Chandrayaan programme was formally announced by former Prime Minister, the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee on August 15, 2003.

(With inputs from PTI)

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