In a momentous feat on August 23, India achieved a significant milestone as the Chandrayaan-3 lander module triumphantly touched down on the lunar South Pole.
According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Pragyaan rover of Chandrayaan-3 encountered a 4-meter diameter crater situated just 3 meters ahead of its designated location on the moon’s surface. Sharing the development on X (formerly Twitter), ISRO revealed that on August 27, 2023, the rover detected the crater and subsequently altered its course, ensuring its safe progression on a new trajectory.
Highlighting the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s progress, ISRO noted that two of the three mission objectives have been successfully achieved. These include demonstrating a secure and soft landing on the lunar surface and showcasing the rover’s ability to traverse the moon’s terrain. The agency also confirmed that ongoing in-situ scientific experiments are in progress, with all payloads functioning as expected.
ISRO unveiled a graph depicting the moon’s soil temperature variation at different depths. The Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) is responsible for this analysis, measuring the temperature profile of the lunar topsoil around the pole. Equipped with temperature sensors and a controlled penetration mechanism, ChaSTE can delve up to 10 cm beneath the lunar surface, contributing to a deeper understanding of the moon’s thermal behavior.
The remarkable strides achieved by Chandrayaan-3’s rover stand as a testament to India’s growing prowess in space exploration and research.