Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar exploration mission, will make India the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon’s surface and establish India’s ability to land safely and softly on the lunar surface.

The countdown to the mission’s launch began on Thursday at 14:35:17 IST, with takeoff scheduled for Friday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The spacecraft will be launched on a heavy-lift launch vehicle called the GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3).

This will be the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) follow-up mission after the Chandrayaan-2 mission’s soft landing in 2019.

The Indian Space Research Organisation is keeping its fingers crossed, after its last moon mission in July 2019 went awry. The scientists hope to analyse the lunar soil, rove around the moon surface, also log moon quakes. ISRO claims that it learned from the previous lunar trip by reducing the number of engines on the lander from five to four and updating the software. Everything has been thoroughly tested.

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