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Rover Pragyan travels 12 meters on the moon, ISRO set to receive data as machines in payloads begin operations: Details

According to ISRO, the rover is operating as per its designated plan on the lunar surface. Designed to traverse up to 500 meters, the rover had accomplished an 8-meter journey by August 25. Additionally, two payloads have been activated to gather diverse lunar data.

On Saturday, 26th August 2023, three days after the successful soft landing of the Chandrayaan-3 mission on the lunar surface, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) shared new details. These details pertain to the landing of the lander Vikram and the rover Pragyan at the moon’s south pole. The ISRO chairman reported that as of Saturday morning, the rover had covered a distance of 12 meters.

According to ISRO, the rover is operating as per its designated plan on the lunar surface. Designed to traverse up to 500 meters, the rover had accomplished an 8-meter journey by August 25. Additionally, two payloads have been activated to gather diverse lunar data. These payloads will relay information through the Vikram Lander to ISRO on Earth. On 26th August 2023, ISRO’s official X handle shared a video of rover Pragyan moving on the lunar surface.

Remarkably, India stands as the fourth global entity to achieve a soft lunar landing, and uniquely, it’s the pioneer in attaining the moon’s southern pole. In commemoration of this momentous achievement, Prime Minister Modi arrived in Bengaluru on Saturday, 26th August 2023.

His purpose in being there was to inspire and engage with ISRO scientists. On this occasion, he declared that the triumph of ‘Chandrayaan-3’ will be commemorated annually as National Space Day on August 23.

ISRO Chairman S Somnath said Chandrayaan-3 rover Pragyan had covered a distance of 12 meters till Saturday morning. He shared several pictures from the moon with the PM.

On Wednesday, August 23, 2023, ‘Chandrayaan-3’ successfully achieved a lunar landing. The lander Vikram gently placed the rover Pragyan onto the lunar South Pole using a two-segment foldable ramp and a supporting wire. Once the rover made contact with the lunar surface, the wire was detached.

Simultaneously, a solar panel opened, enabling the rover to produce 50W of electricity for its forthcoming 500-meter journey. On Friday, ISRO shared the latest update on the lander via the X handle.

ISRO said in this post, “All planned Rover movements have been verified. The Rover has successfully traversed a distance of about 8 meters. Rover payloads LIBS and APXS are turned ON. All payloads on the propulsion module, lander module, and rover are performing nominally.”

The gathered data will be transmitted from the rover to the lander and subsequently relayed to the orbiter from the previous Chandrayaan Mission-2. Following this, Chandrayaan-2’s orbiter will transmit the data back to Earth.

Initiation of data collection experiments on the Moon’s South Pole has commenced. These instruments will conduct experiments and observations for the upcoming two weeks, equivalent to one lunar day (14 Earth days). As a consequence of the limited lunar sunlight, these instruments are expected to enter an inactive state during the moon’s nighttime phase.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday morning at ISRO’s Tracking and Telemetry Centre, declared that the site where Chandrayaan-3’s lander Vikram touched down would be designated as ‘Shiv Shakti’. Additionally, the location where Chandrayaan-2’s lander was supposed to perform its landing would be named ‘Tiranga’. The Chandrayan-2’s lander could not successfully land on the lunar surface, but its orbit is still functional. He further proclaimed that August 23, the day of Chandrayaan-3’s triumphant lunar landing, would here onwards be observed as National Space Day.

PM Modi said, “I can see every moment of that day of August 23 in front of my eyes. I salute your dedication. I salute your patience. I salute your hard work. I salute your inspiration.”

He added, “India is on the moon. Our national pride is on the moon. We have reached a place where no one has reached before. We have achieved what no one has achieved before! This is today’s India, courageous and brave.”

He reiterated the role of space technology in enhancing daily life, aiding in the seamless operation of the nation, and fostering transparency and efficiency.

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