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Chandrayaan-3: After landing on Moon, here's what Pragyan rover will do now

Chandrayaan-3 updates: After Vikram's successful landing on the Moon, now it is up to Pragyan rover to take up the next phase of the mission. What are its goals? Here are the details

Chandrayaan-3

Photo: ISRO/Twitter

BS Web Team New Delhi

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After the successful soft-landing of the Vikram lander on the south pole of the Moon, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has already set the next phase of the Chandrayaan-3 mission rolling.

At 10 pm, roughly four hours after Vikram lander's landing, one of its side panels unfolded to create a ramp for Pragyan, a 20-kg rover. It measures 0.9 × 0.75 × 0.85 m with Isro's logo embossed on its wheels.

Pragyan moves at a speed of 1 cm/second on the Moon's surface to meet its target over the next 14 days.

On Thursday morning, Isro said that the rover had taken a walk on the Moon. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, it wrote, "Chandrayaan-3 ROVER: Made in India--Made for the Moon! The Ch-3 Rover ramped down from the lander and India took a walk on the moon!"

Later, President Droupadi Murmu congratulated Isro for the accomplishment,

"Its rolling out a few hours after the landing of Vikram marked the success of yet another stage of Chandrayaan-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", she said.

Pragyan rover age: How long will it roll on the Moon?

The Vikram lander and Pragyan rover have about 14 days, or one lunar day, to study the Moon's surface. After this, freezing temperatures of minus 238 degrees Celsius in the south pole are likely to destroy the instruments.

Also Read: Chandrayaan-3 moon landing: A look inside Vikram lander and Pragyan rover

In an interview with The Times of India (TOI), Isro chairman S Somanath said that he hopes this can be extended. He was hopeful that both the lander and the rover would live for another lunar day, or 14 more Earth days.

Pragyan rover on moon: What will it do next?

Pragyan is carrying two payloads with it. These are the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS).

The main aim of the rover is to examine the composition of the Moon's atmosphere and surface.

APXS will determine the elemental composition such as magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Potassium, Calcium, Titanium, and Iron of lunar soil and rocks around the lunar landing site.

LIBS propulsion module will conduct qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis. It will help derive the chemical composition and infer mineralogical composition to further our understanding of the lunar surface.

Also Read: Unsung heroes of Chandrayaan-3: Meet the people behind India's moon mission

Over the course of the next 14 days, the rover will collect this data and relay it to the lander, which will, in turn, send it to the Chandrayaan-2 satellite and beam the data to Earth.

What is Pragyan rover named after?

The word "Pragyan" is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning "wisdom".

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First Published: Aug 24 2023 | 10:48 AM IST

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