back to article India takes second punt at soft lunar landing with launch of Chandrayaan-3 mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, successfully launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Friday at 1435 local time. ISRO's LVM3 launch vehicle is carrying a lander and rover to 100km lunar orbit. At the time of writing, the craft had been placed in precise orbit and the health of the …

  1. anothercynic Silver badge


    And here's to the third mission working as intended! Good on ya, ISRO!

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Congrats!

      Yes I watched the launch live (as live as a stream can be) and was impressed by how smoothly it all went and even more impressed by the way they got on with the work without all the whooping and high fiving crap we’ve seen lately on some live streams.

      I hope the rest of the mission goes as smooth and look forward to a successful lunar landing.

  2. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Looking forward to this one

    I'm hoping they succeed with this attempt. Space is hard and if somebody can come up with ways to lower the price, it will benefit all.

    I'd like to see some of the suspected caves explored to see if they'd be suitable for a habitat and then robotically built out if they are. We need to find out how fractional G affects the human body. We already know all about 1G and zero G is something of a problem when it come to health. If we are ever going to put people on Mars, we must find out if they will have a chance of surviving before sinking all of the money that it will take to fund that big of a mission.

  3. Martin-73 Silver badge

    Good luck

    There's a huge difference between LEO and actual space stuff (No offence ISS).... i wish India all the best in this

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Good luck

      Yes and no. The majority of failures are about getting to LEO in the first place. Either the rocket blows up, or its engines fail to provide the necessary thrust for the required amount of time, or something goes haywire with the guidance system . . . The possibilities of failure are almost endless.

      If the rocket manages to get to LEO, you've arguably done the hard part. The rest all depends on how rigourous the programming was, how complete the tests were and how prepared the whole project was. Sending the probe depends on Newtonian physics. There are no surprises there.

      Getting to LEO is a roll of the dice. After that, it's mostly your fault if something fails.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Good luck

        This mission is using a patient transit method of extending the Earth apogee over multiple orbits until it is enough to step off into lunar orbit, then reducing the lunar orbit apogee over multiple orbits. Hence the 42 days.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: Good luck

          Not forgetting that 42 is also the answer [that will be] given by Deep Thought to the “Great Question” of “Life, the Universe and Everything”.

          1. Martin-73 Silver badge

            Re: Good luck

            careful, quoting Douglas round here might get you downvoted (someone doesn't like his quotes)

            1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

              Re: Good luck

              QED. I see one of them have made an appearance

              1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                Re: Good luck

                I do understand this to an extent, may be a personal bugbear, but... meh, one has to agree, it's always good to know where your towel is

  4. Raj

    The Chandrayaan 2 didn’t entirely fail . It had a large orbiter and a comparatively smaller lander and rover. The last two did fail but the orbiter has a 7 year design life and continues to operate to the present day.

    Chandrayaan 3 - the current mission - does NOT have an orbiter. It reuses the Chandrayaan 2 one, and takes advantage of the additional payload capacity to send a larger lander and rover.

    Chandrayaan 2+3 gives India a substantial orbiter , lander and rover combo it would otherwise not have been able to send in one mission, until it has the next generation heavy launchers in operation.

    LVM3 now has a flawless 7/7 launch record, with its payload due to scale up significantly once the Vikas engines are replaced by the SCE200 kerolox ones.

    1. anothercynic Silver badge

      Thanks for the great explainer, Raj! That's a great way to recycle what you already have in orbit around the moon. :-)

    2. IainT

      Well, not exactly.

      ISRO lists the Chandrayaan 2 as a "contingency link," and the Chandrayaan 3 propulsion module can contact the Indian Deep Space Network as well.

  5. Mr. V. Meldrew

    All well and good.....

    You know what's coming here. Why is the UK government still sending overseas aid to India to fritter away on space exploration when there are people and children starving.

    It's just bonkers. Yes, the usual down voters, get your mouse out and click me down.

    Charity however, begins at home.

    1. Raj

      Re: All well and good.....

      India holds around $600 billion in foreign exchange reserves - the worlds 4th biggest behind China, Japan and Switzerland:

      About a sixth of that is in GBP, meaning today the UK is indebted to India to the tune of a sum exceeding all ‘aid’ ever cumulatively sent to India from London since 1947.

      I’ve been seeing this hilarious ‘is THAT what they’re doing with the money we send them ? This is outrageous!’ pearl clutching since about the mid 90s when India first got internet, meaning that was probably your parents. I bet your kids gonna keep at it about 25 years from now, and in India we’d be enjoying the sight of 3 generations of the same joke repeating itself every time a rocket goes up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All well and good..... @Raj

        I’ve been seeing this hilarious ‘is THAT what they’re doing with the money we send them ? This is outrageous!’ pearl clutching since

        So...what's your take on UK aid to India? Has it been worthless since it is only 'aid' as you wrote? Does India need aid?

        1. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: All well and good..... @Raj

          India has pointed out time and again that they don't need or want UK aid. But it is being seen as sort of a diplomatic thing that the Indian government know full well aids the UK more than India.

        2. Raj

          Re: All well and good..... @Raj

          You seem to be very invested in the idea that an Indian would consider money coming to India from UK - an entity that previously plundered the country - as 'aid'.

          As far as we're concerned, what's been happening is perfect - anytime we go anything worthwhile, Brits get up in arms imagining it was all done with 'their money', berate us, berate their leaders, and - as they've done the past many years - keep sending what they call aid.

          It's like being paid to attend an excellent comedy show. As in a comedy show, I don't have to offer you an opinion - I can laugh and clap and walk away with more money - sorry, 'aid' - in the pocket.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: All well and good..... @Raj

            Fortunately, most of us, well, most of reading and posting here, don't think like that :-)

            Apparently "aid" was supposed to stop in 2015 but didn't and a further £2B has been sent since then. Let's agree it's at least partial reparations and not "aid" :-)

            Anyway, whatever the politics, I'm still rooting for ISRO to succeed, it can only benefit both India and the world :-)

        3. Vulch

          Re: All well and good..... @Raj

          A lot of it appears to be disguised subsidies to UK companies. It tends to go along the lines of "Hello Foreign Aid Recipient, here's X currency units. Use it to buy Y widgets at Z currency units each from Thingies Ltd based in MarginalConstituencyShire, England" rather than the brown envelopes many people imagine.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: All well and good..... @Raj

            Yes, that's how "aid" works, too often. Saw it myself in sub-Saharan Africa ~45 years ago. Three or four of the latest high-tech enormo-tractors from the USA. My Dad (who by this time had about twenty years experience of how Africa works) pointed out that they'd not be able to get the spare parts, start cannibalising one to keep the others going, and within a couple of years they'd all be useless. Better would have been a fleet of low-tech Fordson equivalents, repairable with impact technology.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile over at “British Space”, or BS for short.

    Shop stewards have agreed to the tea break schedule but are still arguing over whether an Austin Allegro is a suitable base for a moon rover.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile over at “British Space”, or BS for short.

      À Mars Rover had been developed at Airbus D&S Stevenage and was ready to go for a sample fetch role. But the world situation changed and there is no launch for it.

      It is being adapted for moon missions instead, so you are partly right.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile over at “British Space”, or BS for short.

      It is worse than that as BS don't actually have much in the way of "workers", so really it is the B-ark managers arguing over the Allegro option...

    3. _Elvi_

      Calling Moonbase one... Come in Moonbase One..

      Commander Straker; calling Moonbase.. Your order will be arriving soon.

  7. ComicalEngineer

    Spending billions on a moon shot, but 2/3 of the population living in poverty without proper sanitation?

    Wow, some priorities.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      That's true to some extent, but upgrading education, science and engineering is how you grow an economy and overall standards.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        A space program keeps these educated people in India where they'll be contributing to Indian instead of another countries growth.

    2. Spherical Cow Silver badge

      Billions?? 75 million is peanuts by comparison. Please pay close attention to headlines saying "millions" and those saying "billions" as the difference is enormous.

      The money spent on this launch, $75m, is certainly nowhere near enough to make a noticeable difference to living standards in a country with 1,429m people. 5 cents each? Pfft.

      What this launch does do is advance technical capabilities, boost national pride, and (perhaps most importantly) position India as a genuine contender in the upcoming space race: this small investment has the potential to reap huge rewards.

  8. Grunchy Silver badge

    $74.5 million is a good deal

    Until you remeber Google only valued a lunar landing + 500m joyride as worthy of $20 million x-prize (later $30 million when they realized how preposterous their original valuation was).

    I guess going to the moon is its own reward, you know, to visit a barren airless hellscape a million miles from home...

  9. ian 22

    Excellent reuse of the chandrayan orbiter as a commas node.

    However it seems to me that if we are to continue reaching out to the Moon, we should build out communications infrastructure in the form of lunar satellites incorporating packet switching and lunar gps. We will need these things soon enough.

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