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    India successfully launches Chandrayaan-3 mission to moon

    India successfully launched its third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, on Thursday morning from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The spacecraft lifted off at 2:43 a.m. IST (8:13 p.m. EDT on Wednesday) atop a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) rocket. The mission is India’s first attempt to soft-land on the moon’s south pole. Chandrayaan-3 will carry a lander, a rover, and a payload of scientific instruments. The lander is named Vikram, after Vikram Sarabhai, the father of India’s space program. The rover is named Pragyan, which means “wisdom” in Sanskrit. The spacecraft is expected to reach the moon’s orbit on August 28. The lander will then…