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Chandrayaan-3 to Gaganyaan: 2023 is going to be about bigger, missions from India

The Indian Space Research Organisaion (ISRO) in 2022 soared to new limits as it ventured into new tests to validate its human spaceflight mission, developed new facilities to train its astronauts, and established a new link to the private sector by testing India's first privately made rocket. 2023 is going to be no different. Instead, it could be a year of bigger, bolder, and braver missions to space from India as the lineup is ready.

The Indian space agency has in its pipeline some of the biggest missions it has ever conducted, with the boldest one being the maiden test of the Gaganyaan mission, the country's first astronaut mission that takes Indians outside the planet in an indigenously developed system.

With Nasa successfully conducting the maiden launch of the Artemis-1 mission to the Moon, India is ready to send the successor of its most successful probe to the lunar orbit. Chandrayaan-3 is set to be launched on GSLV Mk-III in June this year. The mission has been delayed as Isro continues to test the rover, which is expected to be more robust than the last two missions. While the mission is not a replica of Chandrayaan-2, which crash-landed on the Moon, it will use its predecessor's orbiter which is already hovering above the lunar surface. Isro Chairman S Somnath has said that the engineering on the spacecraft is significantly different and that they have made it more robust so that it does not have problems like last time

While Europe and the US have already sent probes to better understand the physics of the Sun and the evolution of the star in the center of our solar system, India has readied a mission for the same. The Aditya L1 mission will be launched in 2023 to the Lagrange point 1 (L1). The L1 point of the Earth-Sun system provides an uninterrupted view of the sun and is currently home to the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Satellite SOHO from Nasa. This position provides a greater advantage of observing solar activities continuously.

Aditya-L1 carries seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere, and the outermost layers of the Sun (the corona) using electromagnetic and particle detectors. Four payloads directly view the Sun from the unique vantage point of L1, and the remaining three payloads carry out in-situ studies of particles and fields at the Lagrange point L1.

Along the lines of the American shuttle missions, India is working to develop its first Runway Landing Experiment (RLV-LEX). The mission could be tested at the Aeronautical Test Range in Karnataka's Chitradurga. Science & Technology Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh informed the Parliament last month about the developments with the mission.

Edited by Ragul Senthil

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