On August 23, 2023, India made history by becoming the fourth country to successfully land its spacecraft Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander on the Moon’s south pole. The subsequent rollout of the ‘Pragyan’ rover marked a significant milestone in the country’s space exploration endeavors.
A Landmark Lunar Landing
India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission achieved a historic feat on August 23, as the Vikram lander softly touched down on the Moon’s south pole. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) shared the first image captured by Vikram’s camera, showcasing the landing site and the rover’s accompanying shadow.
The Path of Pragyan
Just hours after the successful landing, the six-wheeled ‘Pragyan’ rover, weighing 26 kg, emerged from Vikram’s belly and embarked on its journey across the lunar surface. The rover has covered a distance of around eight meters, with all payloads activated, according to the latest updates from ISRO.
Steady Progress and Payload Activation
ISRO established communication between the lander and the Mission Operations Complex in Bengaluru. Images from the Lander Horizontal Velocity Camera were released, capturing the descent to the Moon’s surface. The Chandrayaan-3 mission reported normal system operations and the activation of all payloads on both the lander and the rover.
Videos Unveil Rover Operations
ISRO released videos showcasing the Pragyan rover’s rollout and mobility on the lunar surface. The space agency demonstrated the rapid deployment of a ramp and solar panel that facilitated the rover’s movement. The rover’s solar panel ensures power generation for its activities.
Achievements and Future Plans
The Chandrayaan-3 mission successfully achieved two out of three mission objectives. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the naming of landing sites and designated August 23 as ‘National Space Day’. ISRO chief S Somanath expressed optimism about meeting the mission’s scientific goals in the coming days.