Chandrayaan-3's Pragyan Rover takes a 'walk on the moon'
The moon rover of India’s Chandrayaan-3 on Thursday morning rolled out from the spacecraft to begin its exploration of the uncharted lunar surface, Isro said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
The country’s space agency said that the spacecraft made a historic landing on the south pole of the moon last evening, making India the first country to achieve this feat.
"The Ch-3 Rover ramped down from the Lander and India took a walk on the moon. More updates soon," ISRO posted on X.
The first picture of the six-wheeled robotic vehicle Pragyan rolling out of Vikram has been shared by Pawan K Goenka, the chairman of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre, a single-window, independent, nodal agency that functions as an autonomous agency in the Department of Space (DOS).
The Lander and the Rover with a mission life of one Lunar day (14 Earth days) have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface.
The Rover payloads are the LIBS or ‘Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope’ and the APXS or ‘Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer’
The LIBS will determine Qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis and to derive the chemical Composition and infer mineralogical composition to further our understanding of Lunar-surface.
The APXS will determine the elemental composition (Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicone, Potassium, Calcium Titanium and Iron) of the Lunar soil and rocks around the lunar landing site.
Earlier today Indian President Droupadi Murmu posted a congratulatory message for the ISRO scientists involved with the Chandrayaan-3 project.
Taking to her official handle on X, after the rover rolled out of the lander, President Murmu posted, “I once again congratulate the ISRO team and all fellow citizens for successful deployment of Pragyan-rover from inside Vikram-lander. Its rolling out a few hours after the landing of Vikram marked the success of yet another stage of Chandrayan 3.”
“I look forward with excitement, alongside my fellow citizens and scientists to the information and analyses that Pragyan will acquire and enrich our understanding of the moon," the post read.
The successful lunar landing by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) came a day after a Russian lander — Luna-25 — crashed on the lunar surface during descent.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is currently attending the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg joined virtually to track the final moments leading up to the touchdown by the Vikram lander.
As soon as the lander touched the lunar south face, PM Modi was seen sporting a big smile and joyously waving the tricolour. The ISRO had been releasing a series of up-close images of the moon, assisting the lander module in determining its position (latitude and longitude) by matching them against an on-board moon reference map.