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Safran supports India’s Moon mission!


India has written a new chapter in the history of space exploration with the successful touchdown of the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-III probe in an unexplored region of the lunar south pole. You may be less familiar with the crucial role in this spectacular mission played by Captronic Systems and Safran Data Systems (two subsidiaries of Safran Electronics & Defense’s Space division)!

chandrayaan-3 illustration

On 23 August 2023, an Indian probe landed near the lunar south pole, marking a world first in this still largely unexplored region of the Moon. Developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Chandrayaan-III features a lander module * named Vikram (“valor” in Sanskrit) and a rover named Pragyan (“wisdom”). This robotic exploration vehicle is to roam the Moon’s surface for one lunar day, equivalent to 14 Earth days.

The nearly 1.7-tonne probe will collect scientific data relating to the Moon’s seismic activity, the mineralogical composition of the lunar surface and a range of thermal properties.

Safran’s role in the success of the Chandrayaan-III program

CORTEX equipment testing

For the LVM-3 launcher, tasked with the crucial mission of carrying Chandrayaan-III to the Moon, Captronic Systems, an Indian company recently acquired by Safran Data Systems, supplied a comprehensive suite of specialized verification and testing systems. These systems were designed to evaluate the control electronics and actuators of the solid, liquid and cryogenic propellant stages. Verification systems used for sensor simulation and testing, as well as interface connector continuity testing, were also developed to equip the Indian probe.

Safran Data Systems played a no less crucial role. To ensure flawless communication between Earth and the space probe, Safran Data Systems integrated Cortex CRT telecommunication modems into the ground-based ISRO Deep Space Network operated by the Indian space agency. The role of these units is to receive, demodulate and decode data in real time, ensuring reliable transmission of information between the probe and the control center.

A major milestone for Safran Electronics & Defense

This achievement has special significance for Safran Electronics & Defense, coming as it does almost a year after the strategic acquisition of Captronic Systems. More than just a technological feat, this participation in such an ambitious mission underscores the maturity and reliability of Safran solutions for the fiercely competitive and highly strategic space industry.

This mission represents a springboard for future international collaborations, establishing Captronic Systems and Safran Data Systems as key players on the global space research and innovation scene.

For Safran Electronics & Defense and its subsidiaries, the success of Chandrayaan-III is not an end in itself, but the start of a passionate space adventure with boundless possibilities. The sky – or deep space – is the limit!

Did you know?

As a partner to the Indian Space Research Organization’s manned space flight program, Safran has delivered more than 90 Cortex CRT Command and Control (C2) modems for equipment intended for:

  • Testing and integration of communication equipment installed on board the capsule;
  • All telemetry receiving stations used for manned flights.