India launches historic Chandrayaan-3 moon-landing mission

India has embarked on its latest ambitious voyage to the moon. A Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM3) rocket topped with the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the coastal island of Sriharikota today (July 14) at 5:05 a.m. EDT (0905 GMT; 2:35 p.m. local time in Sriharikota). 

The rocket thundered into the sky, carrying an uncrewed lander-rover duo and the hopes of the world’s most populous nation. About 16 minutes after liftoff, Chandrayaan-3 separated from the LVM3 as planned and entered orbit around Earth, kickstarting its fuel-efficient journey to the moon. If the rest of the mission unfolds as planned, India will soon become the fourth country — after the United States, the former Soviet Union and China — to land on the moon.

The ambitious, homegrown mission has a relatively modest price tag of 6 billion rupees ($73 million). Its success would accelerate India’s growing ambitions of low-cost space exploration during a time when many nations are vying to establish a long-term presence on the moon.

Today’s launch commenced India’s second shot at gently landing on the moon’s surface, a venture that comes nearly four years after Chandrayaan-2’s lander-rover pair crashed into the moon due to a software glitch. Officials at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the country’s national space agency, say they’re confident of success this time around.

That confidence will be tested over the next month, as multiple firings of the spacecraft’s thrusters stretch its egg-shaped path around Earth, increasing its speed until it can be hurled into the moon’s orbit. Once there, precise maneuvers must safely perch the lander-rover duo near the moon’s south pole, a mainly uncharted region that India dreams of being the first to unveil. ”This mission is most significant in terms of ultimate precise landing capability of [the] Chandrayaan-3 lander on the specified lunar surface,” Arun Sinha, a former senior scientist at ISRO, told

Comment: I wasn’t aware of this launch and I forgot about India’s prior moon missions. Unlike China, India televised the launch live. The moon’s south pole will soon become crowded with rovers from several nations. It will be the site of an international robotics competition. Let’s hope it doesn’t become the site of the first space robot war.


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18 Responses to India launches historic Chandrayaan-3 moon-landing mission

  1. F & L says:

    Referencing the story covered in the link posted concerning Kurchatov on the derriere of the “Florida” essay do I say that your code has been cracked and Florida stands for Flouride which is a copious industrial by product of the Uranium refinent industry? (No, a fool likes to jest). But I expect you recall the late author of the James Bond adventure romances threefold method of determining whether it is 100% complete duck or otherwise.

    Thus I append this which you probably already know but for the weak of heart leave translation to the scholarly users of Gargoyle and Spandex apps.

    Nuclear Scientist on the accident at the Ural Rosatom Plant – Uranium.Hexaflouride causes serious consequences.
    In other breaking noose I heard that President Biden called up some component of the reserves yesterday.
    As deeply as it aggrieves me to say so, the old man looks and sounds rather wimp- pressive here, in an interview with an individual I like as much as spoiled rotten tuna fish salad with coleslaw. (Which isn’t a large quantity of admiration).

    Dr Hyde Interview with Mr Jekyll or .. President Joe Biden sits down with .. of CNN:

  2. d74 says:

    Good for India.

    India’s astronautical activities seem to come at a very low price. Where other countries speak in Dollar/Euro billion(s), India speaks in millions. See Wikipedia.
    This is astonishing.
    No frivolous frills, focused on the mission, this is undoubtedly the way to use Space for the benefit of all.

    “Ars technica” ( doesn’t mention it, or hasn’t yet. This HiTec news site prefers to headline NASA who decides not to launch two already-built asteroid probes. We learn that “the project’s original cost cap of $55 million”, roughly the price of Indian performance. It’s certainly not comparable, but it gives you ideas. West is becoming far too expensive. Too many management controllers, no doubt.

  3. F & L says:

    You reference Daily Telegraph often or maybe it was Colonel Lang (I almost typed “Colonial”).

    This article references interesting locations etc. Excerpts below. Green versus White hydrogen is one theme. (Is there a green & white flag? I ask bc the Brits are specialists in cryptic stuff, and I am a fool). Also (duh) – the appearance of “Hydrogen “ in the news yesterday and today – Kurchatov, Kursk, Ural Rosatom Hydrogen Hexaflouride etc.

    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard on Clean “White” Energy from White Hyde Roe (Gen. retired)
    Today’s exuberant rush for “white” hydrogen has the same feel.
    We are suddenly waking up to the very real possibility that vast reserves of natural hydrogen lie under our feet and can plausibly be extracted at costs that blow away the competition, ultimately undercutting methane on pure price.
    Scientists have long argued that pockets of exploitable geological hydrogen are more abundant than hitherto supposed.
    The perpetual burning gas at Chimaera in Turkey – believed to be the source of the Olympic flame – has a hydrogen content reaching 11.3pc. There is another such marvel at Los Fuegos Eternos in the Philippines.
    It has been known since 2012 that hydrogen beneath the village of Bourakébougou in Mali has 98pc purity. The site was discovered in the 1980s when it blew up in the face of a local man smoking a cigarette while drilling for water.
    Professor Alain Prinzhofer from the Institute of Physics in Paris found that the gas flow remained constant over time – the pressure even rose – confirming a hypothesis that hydrogen can keep renewing itself by a chemical reaction underground.
    What is new is that the world now needs that hydrogen and is acting on the insights.
    The US Geological Survey concluded in April that there is probably enough accessible hydrogen in the earth’s subsurface to meet total global demand for “hundreds of years”.
    The US Energy Department is drawing up plans to help kick start the industry, deeming the potential “astronomical”.
    Viacheslav Zgonnik, a Ukrainian geologist, thinks white geologic hydrogen could be so cheap and abundant that it conquers the energy market.
    “We think that we can reach $1 a kilo in the long-run and provide baseload power 24/7. It can be compressed for storage in steel tanks. It is not that expensive,” he said
    If so, that raises awkward questions about the eye-watering subsidies going into green variants (from electrolysis) and blue variants (natural gas with carbon capture).
    Green hydrogen costs $3 to $4 today. It will become cheaper with scale, but getting much below $2 will be hard: you currently lose 70pc of the original energy in the making, and it requires a massive electrolyser industry that does not yet exist.
    Are the EU, the UK, Japan, and others, barking up the wrong tree with their hydrogen strategies?
    And is the vogue for drilling bans in Europe an ecological own-goal? Hydrogen wells use much the same drill kit as the oil and gas industry, with some need for modification since hydrogen degrades metal piping, and the tiny molecule leaks easily.
    “We can get to scale faster than with green hydrogen and without using up the land surface that you need for renewables.
    (More at link)

    • F & L says:

      A man with a record of a long string of curious responses on a Rorschach test read the first paragraphs of this article and said, under scrutiny “Oh so in case the Giant in Jack in the Beanstalk drops his toy plastic replicas of his favorite opera singer Miss Beverly Sills on the parade (he used to work at Madame Tussauds but he took too many experimental androgens, so we think he took some of his personal dummy templates) then the tubers won’t be YouTubers if by You we mean the little vagrants, beggars and those not part of the bureaucracy.

      Tube strikes: July dates and lines affected by London Underground walkouts
      The strikes running over four consecutive days will affect different sections of the Tube network.

  4. Whitewall says:

    “Unlike China, India televised the launch live”
    Just like the old days when the US would televise our NASA events, successes and failures, while the USSR did not. Must be something to do with freedom vs communism. Or else I’m thinking ‘old school’.

    • F & L says:

      In the RF it’s now called authoritarianism kleptocracy. In China – filthy rich party chieftains call Chairman Xi “President.”

      In the US the Supreme Court is obviously crooked and it’s required that Congress practice insider trading. One ex President is a convicted rapist, another has a son with a laptop who “worked for” Burisma, and former President Carter says the country is no longer a democracy or constitutional republic. The launches are filmed because “freedom” or to scare the rest of the world? Or because the states with launch sites are platforms for billionaire mega mega billionaires who want to soon sell tickets to ultra rich tourists and they are advertising the safety and security as compared with traveling by bathyscaphe. In other words the planet is burning up and they all want to leave but need guinea pigs first. When, for the first few years or so they possibly crash, the savages peasants will be thrilled to see the wealthy burn and not storm the Bastille. And saves on guillotines.

      Nonetheless, the super high temperatures across the south and Midwest are preferable to the super high temps in China. And Russia has no warm water ports so it won’t lose all it’s coastal cities because it doesn’t have any and won’t sink and it’s a cold harsh climate so they all have potato and vegetable patches and can their own food and won’t need so much refrigeration so we are better than them. And they don’t have 2nd amendment rights so they don’t have 2 mass killings a week but so what, we tricked them into a stupid bloody war and are killing hundreds of thousands.

      • PeterHug says:

        Consider that the very few ports globally that won’t need to be continually rebuilt to accommodate sea level rise are either fairly far up rivers, or on the Great Lakes.

  5. F & L says:

    More interesting maybe for the sarc & humor on display than the rest but Putin’s characterization of his meeting is fairly typical and therefore weird as usual.
    Translated link:
    “PMC” Wagner “does not exist”
    Vladimir Putin in the corridors of the WTC spoke about the meeting on June 29
    The NY Times covered the same interview this morning:

  6. blue peacock says:

    There’s something to be said for India’s launch vehicles and their cost of production. When they get it going they’ll become a formidable competitor to SpaceX, Ariane, and other significantly more expensive SLVs for the commercial launch market.

    There shouldn’t be any doubt that in the US, citizens, particularly future generations who are on the hook for all the debt, get very little bang for the buck on government spending. What would be NASA or SpaceX cost for an equivalent SLV that India’s space agency deployed?

    • Leith says:

      And their cost for launch has to be cheaper considering their space centers are so much closer to the equator.

  7. English Outsider says:

    Good for the Indians. If that sounds sour, I suppose it is. <i?"The United Kingdom remains the only country to have developed and then abandoned a satellite launch capability."

    Ages ago I used to know a UK engineer who worked in defence. Ended up running a big project. That got cancelled.

    He’d worked on all sort of projects. Couldn’t give details. Except that none of the projects he’d worked on throughout his career had ever gone into production.

    Said that when he started there were two layers of management between him and the CEO. Claimed that by the end there were eleven. That relates to F & L’s remark, “West is becoming far too expensive. Too many management controllers, no doubt.” I don’t know how the Russians do it. But somehow they end up getting far more bang for their buck.

    F & L.

    1. There was no “Sleepy Joe” about that interview in your top comment. Like him or not, your President is still the wily old fox he’s always been.

    2. On the Wagner group, they’re supposed to be congregating in large numbers in Belarus. Part of a force that’s said to be getting on for a quarter of a million strong. Only minefields in their way, should they decide to move.

    Could be to pre-empt some sort of NATO action or threat. Who knows why they’re there? Even so, I’d like to know why Zelensky says he’s confident those Russian forces in Belarus will stay there.

    • F & L says:

      Sorry, not falling for obvious “Creepy Joe” bait.

      • F & L says:

        Such a pity about Len Fall-From-Grace. No worry, it’s not called
        Widehaul for no reason!

      • English Outsider says:

        No idea about that. Please don’t put words in my mouth, F & L . I don’t expect that.

        The adjective I usually see used is “Sleepy”. As said, it didn’t look to be the case at all in that interview. This is not a man who looks as if he doesn’t know what he is doing.


        I suppose my objection to Biden, and to his team, is not that they are incompetent, though I believe that to be the case. It’s that as far as one can see all their utterances and actions are aimed at the internal American audience. Men die abroad, or don’t die, merely because it plays well with this or that section of that internal American audience, or with this or that American interest group.

        Or in this case – because the politicians see that the Ukrainian venture is a failed venture – men die or don’t die merely because the politicians haven’t yet worked out how to save face with their electorates, or placate the various interest groups. This is unprincipled. The recent Vilnius offensive, that is, an offensive insisted on merely in the hope it would set the scene well for the Vilnius summit, was an extreme example of that.

        This we can reprobate irrespective of our view as to who is in the right in this war. Even irrespective of our opinions on the current government in Kiev. The fact is that we have backed Zelensky to the hilt and have urged him on.

        We trained and equipped his forces well before the war. We did not tell him then that there was a limit to our support.

        We have feted him in every part of the West. He has received standing ovations in Congress and has been hailed as the Churchill of his people. He has been told again and again that we shall back him “as long as it takes.” We have assured him he is fighting for our values and our security. Like it or not we owe him.

        And when the time comes for him to call in the debt, when the time comes for him to call for the support we have so often and so richly promised, we turn away. Worse, we tell him “We are not Amazon” and leave him high and dry at Vilnius.

        He has sent thousands of men to their deaths at our insistence. And this is his return. There is no honour in that.

        I can see that, though I am utterly opposed to what Zelensky stands for and what he does. So should you.

    • Fred says:


      Socialism needs only other people’s money, not results.

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