After India’s Chandrayaan 3 space probe landed on the lunar surface, the entire world celebrated the milestone attained by the Indian Space Research Organisation. However, ISRO did not waste extra time to commence with the exploration goals of the Chandrayaan-3 mission. In less than a day after the landing, the Pragyan moon rover that is part of the mission emerged from the lander and reached the surface of the moon. ISRO published a post on X (formerly known as Twitter), announcing the successful deployment of its rover on the moon.
“The Ch-3 Rover ramped down from the Lander and India took a walk on the moon!” ISRO wrote in a post published at about 11:00 pm EDT, Wednesday, Aug. 23 (0300 GMT on Thursday, Aug. 24). A follow-up post verified that all activities of the Chandrayaan-3 mission are on schedule and its systems are operating normally.
How the Pragyan Moon Rover is Operating on The Lunar Surface
The solar-powered Pragyan moon rover rolled down to the lunar surface on Wednesday out from the Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander. The Indian lunar lander successfully landed on the lunar surface on August 23 as the first space probe to reach the surface of the south pole. Since the moon rover has successfully descended to the lunar surface, it will spend the next two weeks moving around the landing site in search of the chemical composition of the moon dust and gravel.
Space agencies became interested in exploring the lunar south pole because the region houses a massive amount of water ice in the rocks of its permanently shadowed polar craters. Researchers are suggesting that the water ice can be harvested and converted into liquid water, and oxygen for future crewed missions to this region. Some scientists think that this water can be divided into hydrogen and oxygen and used in making rocket fuels for launching rockets from the lunar surface in the future.
Astronomers are suggesting that next-generation telescopes can reside in the shaded and thermally stable craters on the moon to observe deeper into the Universe. Pragyan rover and Vikram lander will be in active scientific observation for the next two weeks. However, ISRO does not build these lunar vehicles to survive the next lunar night, which is a period when the moon stays without sunlight.
The lunar night will be coming in the next two weeks. However, we should be expecting the Pragyan rover and Vikram lander to make great scientific observations before they run out of power.
What You Should Know About Chandrayaan-3 Mission
On July 14, ISRO launched the Chandrayaan-3 mission with the intention of landing on the lunar south pole. After flying for weeks, the spacecraft touched down on the lunar surface on Wednesday at 8:33 a.m. ET (1233 GMT or 6:03 p.m. India Standard Time). About four hours after the successful touchdown, ISRO shared four unique images taken by the lander cameras during the descent on the lunar surface.
The Indian Space Agency also published one image captured by the lander after it successfully touched down. The last image showed a pockmarked lunar surface and the shadow of the lander. Keep in mind that the Chandrayaan-3 mission was India’s second attempt to land a space probe near the moon’s south pole. During the first attempt, ISRO tried to land the Chandrayaan-2 space probe on the moon.
However, the lander crashed into the moon’s surface because of a software glitch in September 2019. But during the recent mission, India tried to correct the mistakes it made during the formal mission and landed the Chandrayaan-3 three days after Russia failed to land the Luna-25 lander due to a failed orbital maneuver.
India’s Pragyan rover deployed successfully on the moon to commence operations on the moon’s surface. The moon rover will be spending the next two weeks studying the lunar surface and making more scientific discoveries for ISRO. What do you think about the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission?