Chandrayaan-3: Pragyan rover successfully travels 8 metres on lunar surface | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Chandrayaan-3: Pragyan rover successfully travels 8 metres on lunar surface

By, New Delhi
Aug 26, 2023 04:30 AM IST

Pragyan, roughly 92cm in length and 75cm in width, has on board two spectrometers that can analyse the composition of moon rocks and dust

The Pragyan rover rolled out over the surface of the Moon and covered a distance of 8 metres, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said on Friday, two days after the historic landing of the Chandrayaan-3.

Rollout of rover of Isro's Chandrayaan-3 from the lander to the lunar surface, as observed by Lander Imager Camera, on Wednesday. (PTI) PREMIUM
Rollout of rover of Isro's Chandrayaan-3 from the lander to the lunar surface, as observed by Lander Imager Camera, on Wednesday. (PTI)

The seemingly short but symbolically staggering distance --- no country has till now reached close to the Moon’s south pole with its spacecraft intact --- travelled by the rover came after it unfolded its solar panels and drew power from the sun in preparation for its landmark mission.

Also read: Chandrayaan-3: PM Modi to visit ISRO in Bengaluru to congratulate scientists

“All planned rover movements have been verified. The rover has successfully traversed a distance of about 8 meters. Rover payloads LIBS and APXS are turned ON. All payloads on the propulsion module, lander module, and rover are performing nominally,” Isro said, in a statement on Friday.

Isro also released the first video of the rover rolling out of the Vikram lander in the early hours of Thursday. “...and here is how the Chandrayaan-3 rover ramped down from the lander to the lunar surface,” the Isro tweeted while releasing the video.

In another tweet, the space agency said, “A two-segment ramp facilitated the roll-down of the rover. A solar panel enabled the rover to generate power...”

Pragyan, roughly 92cm in length and 75cm in width, has on board two spectrometers that can analyse the composition of moon rocks and dust.x

Officials from the department of space also confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to meet ISRO chief S Somanath and the team of Chandrayaan-3 scientists on Saturday, directly after returning from Athens.

After the meeting, the Pragyan rover is also expected to raise the Tricolour on the lunar surface in the presence of the PM on Saturday.

Senior officials of the space agency said that the Pragyan rover emerged from the lander around 10.30pm on Wednesday, around four hours after the lander successfully landed on the lunar surface. After testing the inclination, temperature, terrain and ensuring that the dust kicked off by the landing had settled, the rover was finally rolled out early on Thursday morning—around 1.30am.

On Friday, the two rover payloads—Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS), deployed to study the qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis and to derive the chemical composition and infer mineralogical composition to further our understanding of lunar-surface, and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS), to determine the elemental composition (Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca,Ti, Fe) of lunar soil and rocks around the lunar landing site—were set to action.

“On Thursday, the rover moved within the observational area. We have not received the first set of data yet. Once all payloads are turned on, which should happen by Saturday, we will start getting initial data,” a senior official said.

Isro confirmed that the rover was being charged till Thursday afternoon.

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