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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Chandrayaan 3’s Pragyan Rover Captures First Photo of Vikram Lander a Week After Moon Landing

Chandrayaan 3 has provided the world with the first-ever photograph of the Vikram lander, captured by the Pragyan rover just one week after the historic soft-landing on the Moon. This image, taken by Pragyan’s navigation camera, showcases the Vikram lander stationed on the lunar surface at Shiv Shakti Point.

Chandrayaan 3’s Historic Capture

Chandrayaan 3, a lunar mission by ISRO, successfully sent back the image of the Vikram lander taken at 7.35 am (India time) on Wednesday. The photograph offers a clear view of the Vikram lander on the Moon, along with its payloads, ChaSTE and ILSA, as highlighted by the space agency.

Significance of the Image

While ISRO had previously shared an image of the Vikram lander from the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter, this new photograph is the first of its kind, depicting the lander at the Moon’s south pole. After its soft landing, Pragyan rover embarked on its mission, with previous images showcasing its movement. However, this particular image portrays the Vikram lander in a stationary position, marking its landing point, also known as the Shiv Shakti Point.

The Vikram Lander’s Role

Vikram serves as the lander for Chandrayaan 3 and executed a successful soft landing at the Moon’s south pole. It carried the Pragyan rover within it. Following the landing, the rover started its activities, rolling out of the lander and conducting exploration activities on the lunar surface. This mission has provided unprecedented insights into the Moon’s south pole, an uncharted territory until now.

Vikram Lander’s Payloads and Activities

The Vikram lander is equipped with four payloads:

  1. RAMBHA: Measures near-surface plasma density.
  2. ChaSTE: Analyzes the thermal properties of the lunar soil.
  3. ILSA: Studies seismic activity around the landing site.
  4. LRA: Explores the dynamics of the lunar system.

Since landing, the Vikram lander has conducted various activities. One of its payloads, ChaSTE, revealed significant temperature variations in the lunar soil, ranging from minus 10 degrees Celsius to 60-70 degrees Celsius at different depths.

Pragyan Rover’s Endeavors

The Pragyan rover, after its rollout from the Vikram lander, embarked on its own series of experiments. It traversed the lunar surface, adapting its path when encountering craters. Pragyan’s analyses unveiled the presence of elements like sulphur, oxygen, aluminum, and calcium at the Moon’s south pole. Additionally, the rover successfully captured the image of the stationary Vikram lander, a noteworthy achievement.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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