ISRO on Friday released the video of Chandrayaan-3’s Pragyan rover rolling out from the Vikram lander onto the Moon’s surface on August 23, the day India scripted history.
… … and here is how the Chandrayaan-3 Rover ramped down from the Lander to the Lunar surface. pic.twitter.com/nEU8s1At0W
— ISRO (@isro) August 25, 2023
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. Since the gravity on the Moon is low it takes several hours for dust particles to settle down again.
The rover, named Pragyan which in Sanskrit means wisdom, will carry out in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface during the course of its exploration for 14 days and send back scientific data to ISRO.
It will study the surface of the moon through its payload APXS – Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer – to derive the chemical composition and infer mineralogical composition to further enhance understanding of the lunar surface. Pragyan also has another payload–Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) to determine the elemental composition of lunar soil and rocks around the lunar landing site.
The lander ‘Vikram’ will deploy its four scientific payloads to study the Moon’s surface temperature and subterranean characteristics. The Lander’s payload–RAMBHA-LP will also measure the near-surface plasma (ions and electrons) density and its changes with time.
With the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, India is the first country in the world to land a spacecraft on the unexplored south polar region of the Moon. India has now joined the USA, Russia and China to become the fourth nation to accomplish the feat of landing a spacecraft on the lunar surface.