Translated from the Sanskrit, Chandrayaan-3 means “Moon-craft.”This is the third Chandrayaan expedition to the moon, launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Like the Chandrayaan-2 project, it has a lander and rover. These are called Vikram and Pragyan, respectively. The propulsion module rocketed the rover and lander to lunar orbit so that the lander could make a powered drop to the surface.
On July 14, 2023, Chandrayaan-3 was successfully launched. India became the fourth nation to land on the Moon and the first to do so near the lunar south pole, at 12:32 UTC on August 23, 2023, after their spacecraft entered lunar orbit on August 5.
About the ‘Vikram’ lander and ‘Pragyan’ Rovers.
After Chandrayaan-3’s gentle landing on the Moon, it will deploy its lander, Vikram, weighing 1,752 kg, and its rover, Pragyan, weighing 26 kg, both of which will travel over the lunar surface carrying different payloads. According to the ISRO website, the Lander will be able to gently land at a designated location on the Moon and then release the Rover, which will go around the surface collecting samples for chemical analysis.
Chandrayaan-3’s landing module Vikram was named after the man widely regarded as the “father” of India’s space programs, Vikram Sarabhai. It was in 1962 that Vikram Sarabhai laid the groundwork for what would become the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), formerly known as the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR).
The name Pragyan, from the Sanskrit for “wisdom” or “supreme intelligence,” was chosen for the rover on Chandrayaan-3.
Roll of the lander ‘Vikram’
The gentle landing on the Moon was made possible by the Vikram lander. It has a square form factor and is equipped with four landing legs and four landing thrusters that can generate 800 lbs apiece. It transports the rover and a plethora of scientific equipment for use in field research.
Langmuir Probe (LP) to determine plasma density and its fluctuations; Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) to monitor seismicity around the landing site; and Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) to measure thermal conductivity and temperature. For laser ranging research on the Moon, NASA’s passive Laser Retroreflector Array may be housed there.
The ‘Pragyan’ Rover Roll
The Pragyan rover weighs under 26 kilograms (57 pounds) and has six wheels. Its dimensions are 917 mm (3.009 ft), 750 mm (2.46 ft), and 397 mm (1.302 ft).
Multiple measurements will be taken by the rover to help scientists learn more about the Moon’s composition, whether or not water ice exists in the lunar soil, the history of lunar impacts, and the development of the Moon’s atmosphere.
Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) are the rover’s payloads, used to determine the local elemental composition.
India has established a lunar base as of 6.04 PM 23/8/2023
Pragyan, the roving robot, emerged from the lander at 9:35 p.m. on August 23, 2023.
On August 25, 2023, ISRO announced that the rover had traversed 26 feet over the lunar surface.