In an exciting development from the Chandrayaan-3 mission, the Pragyan rover has captured an image of the Vikram lander. This update comes as the rover approaches the midpoint of its lunar day, equivalent to 14 days on Earth.
Table of Contents
“Smile, Please!” – A Lunar Snapshot
Early in the morning, the Pragyan rover accomplished a remarkable feat. Using its navigation camera, it clicked a photograph of the Vikram lander, which had previously faced challenges during the Chandrayaan-2 mission. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) shared this captivating image on its official platform, accompanied by the caption “Smile, please!”.
A Glimpse of the Mission
ISRO further elaborated on this achievement, stating that the Pragyan Rover’s navigation camera, known as NavCam, was responsible for capturing this snapshot. This momentous update comes as the rover has journeyed through nearly half of its state life, facing the harsh lunar environment where temperatures drop to a bone-chilling -130°C in the absence of sunlight.
Scientific Endeavors on the Moon’s Surface
The rover’s mission extends beyond imagery; it is actively exploring the lunar surface. Its tasks include identifying craters and analyzing the elemental composition of the Moon. In a significant breakthrough, one of the mission’s instruments near the Moon’s South pole detected the presence of sulphur and other elements such as aluminium, calcium, iron, chromium, titanium, manganese, silicon, and oxygen. The search for hydrogen is still ongoing.
Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)
The mission utilizes advanced technology, including Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), which can detect elements regardless of their state. This method allows for rapid multi-element detection, crucial given the time constraints of the mission’s 14-day lunar day.
The rover has not been without its challenges. On one occasion, it encountered a four-meter-wide crater on its path. In response, it was commanded to retrace its steps and choose a new route. The tracks left by the six-wheeled rover were meticulously captured by its navigational camera.
A Glimpse into the Future – Aditya L1 Mission
While the Chandrayaan-3 mission continues to make strides on the lunar surface, ISRO is preparing for another ambitious mission – Aditya L1. The mission aims to conduct seven scientific experiments, positioning itself 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. Its primary objective is to study the Sun’s various atmospheric layers and explosive phenomena. The journey to the L1 point is expected to take nearly four months.
In conclusion, the Chandrayaan-3 mission, marked by the Pragyan rover’s recent image capture of the Vikram lander, showcases India’s ongoing advancements in lunar exploration. With scientific breakthroughs and technological prowess, ISRO continues to push the boundaries of space exploration.
Read More: Chandrayaan-3 Mission Details