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Business News/ Science / News/  Pragyan Rover rolls out near Moon’s South Pole: What is it and what will it do
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Pragyan Rover rolls out near Moon’s South Pole: What is it and what will it do

Chandrayaan-3: India's Chandrayaan-3 mission successfully landed a rover on the moon's South Pole, making India the fourth country to do so. The Pragyan rover will conduct experiments and study the lunar surface for various elements. The mission is expected to last for two weeks.

Lander imager Camera of Isro's Chandrayaan-3 captures a portion of its landing site on the surface of the moon after its successful descent.Premium
Lander imager Camera of Isro's Chandrayaan-3 captures a portion of its landing site on the surface of the moon after its successful descent.

Chandrayaan-3 moon mission: India's Chandrayaan 3 made a soft landing on 23 August, making the country first to land on the moon’s South Pole. India has become the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to land on the moon.

Chandrayaan-3 Moon Landing Successful LIVE 

The Chandrayaan-3 lander - designed to deploy a smaller, 26-kg lunar rover - landed on the surface of the moon at 6:04 pm. As the Vikram lander carrying the Pragyan rover in its belly touched down on the lunar surface, it marked a giant leap in India’s spacefaring journey providing a well-deserved finale to ISRO’s long years of toil. No country had ever landed a rover on the treacherous south pole that scientists believe may hold important reserves of frozen water and precious elements. The Pragyan rover was rolled out on the moon's surface.

Also Read: How NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) helped ISRO in communicating with Chandrayaan-3

Also Read: Chandrayaan-3 mission: Watch final moments before successful moon landing

What is Pragyan rover and what will it do?

The word Pragyan is derived from Sanskrit word which means wisdom. Pragyan is a six-wheeled rover designed to carry out series of experiments on the surface of the Moon. As per NASA, The rover has a rectangular chassis, 91.7 x 75.0 x 39.7 cm in size, mounted on a six-wheel rocker-bogie wheel drive assembly. It has navigation cameras and a solar panel that can generate 50 W and communicates directly with the lander via Rx/Tx antennas.

Also Read: Why was August 23 chosen as date for Chandrayaan-3 moon landing?

The six wheeled rover will study the surface of the moon for several elements including magnesium, silicon, potassium, calcium and iron. It will also assist in understanding the Moon's atmosphere, and day and night cycles.

According to ISRO, the lander and the Rover have five scientific payloads which have been placed inside the Lander Module (LM). Rover's Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) will be used to derive the chemical composition and infer mineralogical composition to further enhance the understanding of the lunar surface. Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) will determine the elemental composition of the lunar soil and rocks around the Moon's landing site. The deployment of Rover to carry out in-situ scientific experiments would scale new heights in lunar expeditions, ISRO has said. The Lander Payloads are RAMBHA-LP (Langmuir Probe) will measure the near surface plasma (ions and electrons) density and its changes with time. ChaSTE Chandra's Surface Thermo Physical Experiment will carry out the measurements of thermal properties of lunar surface near polar region. The Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) will measure the seismicity around the landing site and delineating the structure of the lunar crust and mantle.

The Mission life of both Lander and Rover is 1 Lunar Day each, which is equal to 14 Earth days. Chandrayaan-3 is expected to remain functional for two weeks, running a series of experiments.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 24 Aug 2023, 08:18 AM IST
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