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A delightful Chandrayaan-3 rocket launch model

Arduino TeamMarch 26th, 2024

It may not get as much attention as NASA, Roscosmos, or even CNSA (China National Space Administration), but India’s space program has achieved some impressive goals. Just last year, in August of 2023, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) completed their first soft landing on a celestial object with the Chandrayaan-3’s moon landing. That understandably inspired pride among Indians and the YouTube channel Science 4 U celebrated by building this model of the Chandrayaan-3 launch.

This project can be completed with some everyday materials and a few inexpensive components. When ready, it counts down from 10. At zero, the rocket climbs the launch pad’s structure. That rocket is a small model that makers can fabricate on any 3D printer. The launch pad and structure is mostly foam packing material.

The electronics consist of a low-speed geared DC motor, a relay module, an OLED screen, a battery holder, and an Arduino UNO Rev3 board. The Arduino starts by displaying the numerical countdown on the OLED screen. After the countdown completes, the Arduino switches on the relay. That completes the motor circuit, allowing current to flow from the AA batteries to the motor. The running motor winds in a string that pulls the rocket up the structure.

There doesn’t seem to be any switch or sensor to turn off the motor, so the user will have to program a timer to switch the relay. There also isn’t any hardware to reverse the motor polarity, so the user has to lower the rocket manually after a launch. But this is an inexpensive and fun project that should be perfect for students in India who are excited by Chandrayaan-3.


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