Chandrayaan-3 Moon Rover Begins Historic Exploration, India Achieves Lunar Milestone

India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission reached a historic milestone as its moon rover embarked on its mission to explore the uncharted lunar terrain, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on the social media platform X, previously known as Twitter. The spacecraft had achieved a groundbreaking landing on the moon’s south pole the previous evening, positioning India as the first nation to accomplish this feat.

In a momentous development, ISRO declared, “The Ch-3 Rover ramped down from the Lander and India took a walk on the moon. More updates soon.” The first image of the six-wheeled robotic vehicle, named Pragyan, emerging from the lander Vikram was shared by Pawan K Goenka, Chairman of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre.

The lunar lander and rover possess a mission life of one lunar day, equivalent to 14 Earth days. They are equipped with scientific payloads designed to conduct experiments on the lunar surface. The rover’s payloads include the ‘Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope’ (LIBS) and the ‘Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer’ (APXS).

The LIBS will facilitate qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis, allowing the inference of chemical and mineralogical compositions on the lunar surface. Meanwhile, the APXS will ascertain the elemental composition of lunar soil and rocks surrounding the landing site.

President Droupadi Murmu took to X to extend her congratulations to the ISRO scientists behind the Chandrayaan-3 endeavor. Praising their success, she wrote, “I once again congratulate the ISRO team and all fellow citizens for the successful deployment of Pragyan-rover from inside Vikram-lander. Its rolling out a few hours after the landing of Vikram marked the success of yet another stage of Chandrayan 3.”

As India celebrates its achievement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually observed the final moments leading up to the Vikram lander’s touchdown. PM Modi’s elation was evident as he waved the tricolour in joy upon the lander’s successful landing on the lunar south face.

ISRO’s meticulous approach included a series of up-close lunar images to facilitate the lander’s precise positioning by matching its surroundings against an on-board moon reference map. This triumph follows a Russian lunar lander’s unfortunate crash on the lunar surface during its descent.

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