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Chandrayaan-3’s Pragyan Rover rolls out of Vikram to scour surface of Moon

The first image of Rover 'Pragyan' coming out of the Lander 'Vikram' on the ramp (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@GoenkaPk)

After Chandrayaan-3 made a perfect landing near the unexplored South Pole of the moon in a first for any country in the world, the next big manoeuvre was the rolling out of the Pragyan rover which will now scour the lunar surface for 14 days to gather scientific data that will be sent to space agency ISRO. 

The launch of the rover had to wait till the dust on the Moon kicked up by the touchdown of the Vikram lander settled down again. This precaution had to be taken as dust particles could damage the cameras and other sensitive equipment on the rover.

The 6-wheeled Rover ‘Pragyan’ will explore the moon, using chemical tests. The Rover is equipped with multiple cameras that will send back images to earth. It is backed by a solar panel to charge its battery. The experiments will continue for 14 days — which is a single moon day. As the night on the moon begins, the solar-powered equipment of the Rover is likely to shut down.

The experiments by the Rover will include analysis of composition and soil of the Moon surface; documenting the heat retained in the lunar polar region; checking for seismic activity; and calculating the distance to Earth from near the lunar South Pole.

The lander ‘Vikram’ will deploy its four scientific payloads to study the moon’s surface temperature and subterranean characteristics.

According to ISRO, the stated objectives of Chandrayaan-3 are a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, rover moving on the moon’s surface, and in-situ scientific experiments which will attempt to detect the presence of water and soil characteristics on the south pole of the Moon. The ‘mothership’ which is revolving around the Moon will perform experiments to study Earth from lunar orbit.

The success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission has made India only the fourth country in the world after the US, Russia and China to land a spacecraft on the Moon.

Also read: India scripts history with Chandrayaan-3, becomes first country to land on South Pole of Moon