Chandrayaan-3 Rover Successfully Lands On Moon, Sparking Joy In India
Chandrayaan-3 rover successfully lands on moon, sparking joy in India as the rover disembarked from the spacecraft and commenced its mission to investigate the lunar south pole's surface and conduct various experiments. The head of the space agency remarked that the rover was prepared to face novel challenges in its exploratory journey.
Daisy-Mae SchmittAug 25, 202381 Shares20282 Views
Chandrayaan-3 rover successfully lands on moon, sparking joy in Indiaas the rover disembarked from the spacecraft and commenced its mission to investigate the lunar south pole's surface and conduct various experiments. The head of the space agency remarked that the rover was prepared to face novel challenges in its exploratory journey.
Having successfully touched down on the uncharted southern lunar pole on Wednesday, India has garnered the distinction of being the pioneer in this achievement. Remarkably, this accomplishment comes mere days following Russia's Luna-25 setback during a comparable mission.
The gentle and precise landing of the lander, a stark contrast to the failed endeavor in 2019, ignited exuberant celebrations across the world's most populous nation. Media outlets lauded this momentous touch down as India's paramount scientific accomplishment.
Sreedhara Somanath, the head of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), affirmed that both the lander and rover remained in optimal condition, functioning seamlessly. However, he noted that the commencement of experiments was still pending.
"All activities are on schedule. All systems are normal," ISRO posted on X, formerly Twitter. "Rover mobility operations have commenced."
Named "Pragyan," the rover is equipped with two instruments dedicated to executing experiments related to elemental and chemical compositions. Additionally, it possesses a robotic path planning activity designed for upcoming exploratory endeavors.
The term "Chandrayaan" translates to "moon vehicle" in Hindi and Sanskrit. Anticipated to operate for approximately two weeks, equivalent to a single lunar day, the rover's solar-powered equipment is engineered to endure within this timeframe.
Somanath highlighted that several challenges await ISRO on the moon's surface, particularly concerning novel factors like lunar dust and extreme temperatures. These elements have the potential to affect the functionality of moving parts in their equipment.
The mechanisms, the moving items...can get entangled with the dust there. It can get into the moving parts and jam them, the bearings of the system may not work, the motors may not work.- Sreedhara Somanath
Distinguishing itself from Earth's surface, lunar dust poses a unique challenge due to the moon's lack of atmosphere. Somanath pointed out that this dust could adhere to rover materials, potentially leading to operational disruptions.
"All this creates problems in those mechanisms...so let us see how it goes," the scientist said. "We will face it...that’s why we are exploring. If everything is known, what is the fun in doing it?"
Executed within a budget of approximately 6.15 billion rupees ($75 million), this marked India's second endeavor to make a lunar landing. In 2019, the Chandrayaan-2 mission effectively placed an orbiter in orbit; however, its lander experienced an unfortunate crash.
The lunar south pole, characterized by its rugged terrain, holds significant appeal due to its reservoirs of water ice - an invaluable resource potentially offering fuel, oxygen, and potable water for upcoming missions. Yet, the intricacies of this uneven landscape pose considerable challenges for successful landings.
On Wednesday, people nationwide eagerly tuned in to witness the landing, with the YouTube live stream alone amassing nearly 7 million viewers. Prayer gatherings took place at various places of worship, and educational institutions arranged live screenings for their students.
Beyond enhancing India's status as a space prowess and reinforcing its renown for economically viable space technology, the landing is also recognized as a significant source of national pride. Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared that congratulations have been pouring in since Wednesday, emphasizing that the triumph of the successful landing is not just a solitary nation's accomplishment but a feat belonging to all of humanity.
"It is a matter of pride and a pat on the back for Indian scientists," Modi said at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Prominent headlines in Indian newspapers proclaimed: "The moon is Indian," "India goes where no nation's gone before," and "India lights up the dark side of the moon," among other expressions.
"Lunar landing is the most significant Indian scientific achievement," the Times of Indiasaid in an editorial.
"If India is now in a position to harvest the benefit of a spurt in interest in basic sciences there's one reason: ISRO," it said.