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Chandrayaan-3 to land near Lunar south pole

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) mission Chandrayaan-3 is due to land near the lunar south pole today. This will be the first Moon landing so close to the south pole. The landing will be soft, meaning the lander will survive on the surface. A rover, stored inside the lander, will roll out and explore the region for about 2 weeks.

Below, we show the globe of the Earth so you can see how far south Chandrayaan-3 will land. If it was on the Earth, it would be on the Antarctica.

The landing location of Chandrayaan-3 shown on the Earth globe. It is very close to the south pole.

The lunar south pole is the planned location for establishing the first long-term human presence on the Moon. NASA’s Artemis programme is a robotic and human exploration of the Moon that aims to reestablish and sustain human presence on the Moon. It is being carried out in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and the Australian Space Agency (ASA).

The lunar south pole (LSP) region has abundant water ice stored on the lunar soil and crater floors, and well as varied geographical features. Water is important for long-term human presence, which will have to rely on In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU). Carrying supplies and raw materials from Earth is too expensive and impractical, so using local resources will be key. They geography of the LSP also prospects for other materials to be mined.

Chandrayaan-3 will be the first to explore the lunar south pole region. In addition to the lander, it carries a rover that will explore the region. The mission has three main objectives:

  1. Achieving a successful soft landing on the surface of the Moon.
  2. Verifying that the rover is capable to explore the lunar surface.
  3. Carrying out observations and performing experiments on the in-situ raw materials to better understand composition of the Moon.
Chandrayaan-3 Lander: Credit: Indian Space Research Organisation (GODL-India)
Chandrayaan-3 Rover: Credit: Indian Space Research Organisation (GODL-India)

These are exciting first steps towards having humans living outside the Earth. Can you think of a business idea that will help us live beyond out planet?

You can follow the landing on the ISRO website at this link.

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