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Chandrayaan-3: A Remarkable Journey Across the Lunar Landscape
Embark on a thrilling lunar journey with Chandrayaan-3 as it uncovers the Moon's secrets in a groundbreaking mission.
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India made history on August 23, 2023. India made history by successfully landing their spacecraft, the Chandrayaan-3's Vikram lander, on the Moon's south pole. India is the fourth country to accomplish the feat.
A few hours after the historic landing, the 26-kg six-wheeled 'Pragyan' rover rolled out from the lander's belly. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said that the rover traveled eight meters on the moon. The rover's payloads are now active.
Here is what we know about Chandrayaan-3's journey on the Moon so far:
1. A few hours after landing on the Moon, ISRO shared the first image from Vikram's camera. The image shows part of Chandrayaan-3's landing site. Seen also is a leg and its accompanying shadow. Chandrayaan-3 selected a flat area on the moon's surface, according to a tweet.
2. The ISRO said the lander communicated with the space agency's Mission Operations Complex in Bengaluru. The MOX is located at the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC). The ISRO released images from the Lander Horizontal Velocity Camera. The images were taken during the descent to the Moon's surface.
3. On August 24 morning, the ISRO said "India took a walk on the moon", as Chandrayaan-3's robotic rover rolled out of the lander and commenced mobility operations with all activities on schedule and all systems normal.
4. The ISRO also said all the Lander Module(LM) payloads have been turned on. All activities are on schedule. All systems are normal. Lander Module payloads ILSA, RAMBHA and ChaSTE are turned ON today. Rover mobility operations have commenced. On Sunday, the SHAPE payload on the Propulsion Module was turned on. This update was posted on X in the evening.
5. On August 25, a video of the Pragyan rover rolling out of the Chandrayaan-3 Vikram lander and walking on the lunar surface was released by the ISRO.
6. The space agency released another video of how a two-segment ramp facilitated the roll-down of the Pragyan. It said a solar panel enabled the rover to generate power. The video also showed how the rapid deployment of the ramp and solar panel took place, prior to the rolldown of the rover.
7. In the same evening, the ISRO updated that the Chandrayaan-3 mission's Pragyan rover had traversed a distance of about eight meters on the lunar surface, and its payloads had been turned on. All payloads on the propulsion module, lander module, and rover are performing nominally, the Bengaluru-headquartered national space agency said.
8. On August 26, the ISRO said two of the three Chandrayaan-3 mission objectives have been achieved while the third -- in-situ scientific experiments -- is underway. The National Space Agency also said all the payloads of the Chandrayaan-3 mission are performing normally.
9. The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, named the spot where Vikram Lander landed "Shiv Shakti Point." He also named the site where the Chandrayaan-2 lander crashed on the Moon's surface in 2019 "Tiranga Point."
10. Also, August 23, the day the Chandrayaan-3 lander touched down on the lunar surface, would be celebrated as ‘National Space Day’, Modi said.
‘We are looking excitedly for the next 13-14 days’: ISRO chief
ISRO chief S Somanath said Chandrayaan-3's scientific mission objectives will be met soon. The team at ISRO is excited for the next 13-14 days.
"Most of the scientific mission objectives are going to be met now. Lander and Rover all of them are switched on. I understand that all the scientific data is looking very good. But we will continue to measure a lot of data from the Moon in the coming 14 days. And we hope that we will make a really good breakthrough in science while doing so. So we are looking excitedly for the next 13-14 days," Somanath said.
Somnath reached the Kerala capital for the first time after the historic success of the moon mission.
When asked about Aditya-L1, the first Indian observatory to study the sun from space, Somnath said that the satellite was ready and had arrived at Sriharikota.
The launch is expected in the first week of September and the final date would be announced in two days, he said.
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