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Chandrayaan 3: Pragyan rover begins excursion on the lunar surface, to conduct two key experiments over the next 14 days

The rover is tasked with carrying out in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface during its mobility.

At 6:04 PM IST on Wednesday (23 August), ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 mission landed on the moon’s surface, marking a significant milestone in the ascent of India’s contribution to space exploration. The Made-in-India Pragyan rover has swiftly moved out from the lander and has begun to walk on the moon officially marking India’s first steps on the lunar surface.

A picture of the rover coming from the lander was shared by INSPACE Chairman Pawan K Goenka. “First photo of Rover coming out of the lander on the ramp,” he tweeted.

With this, ISRO has achieved two of the three main objectives of the Chandrayaan-3 mission which include demonstrating Safe and Soft Landing on the Lunar Surface, Rover roving on the moon, and conducting in-situ scientific experiments.

Meanwhile, President Droupadi Murmu has lauded the feat saying that she looks forward to the mission’s completion with excitement.

The rover is tasked with carrying out in-situ (in the original place) chemical analysis of the lunar surface during its mobility. It is equipped with scientific payloads – Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) – for deriving the elemental composition in the vicinity of the landing site.

Although the mission life of the rover, weighing 26 kgs, is one lunar day (or 14 Earth days), its LIBS payload will conduct elemental analysis, derive the chemical composition, and infer mineralogical composition. The APXS payload will help determine the elemental composition of the Lunar soil and rocks around the lunar landing site.

During the briefing post-landing, ISRO Chairman S Somnath said that the rover will conduct two crucial experiments and that the next 14 days are very important.

“Instruments like RAMBHA will be deployed to study the charged atmosphere of the moon. ILSA payload will be lowered from the lander Vikram, touch the surface, and measure the seismic activity of the moon,” said the ISRO Chairman, beaming with pride.

The ISRO chief further said that two important experiments will be linked to the elemental and chemical composition of the moon’s surface. “The first experiment will take place by using the laser beam from the rover on the material, it will fuse it and then generate some spectroscopic information which will identify the elements over there. Another experiment is related to the Alpha particle which will be emitted by radioactive materials sitting there and that will generate certain X-ray fluorescence on the surface, and that will be measured to find the chemical composition.”

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Searched termsIndian space program
OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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