rover were destroyed during a soft landing attempt. However, the mission’s orbiter remained operational.
The critical moments leading to the touchdown saw the Vikram lander, christened after Isro founder Vikram Sarabhai, navigate its descent with the 26kg rover named Pragyaan (Sanskrit for wisdom) nestled within it.
The lander’s velocity was gradually diminished from 1.68km per second to near zero, culminating in a gentle touchdown on the Moon’s surface.
Following a brief interval for the lunar dust to settle, the six-wheeled rover is poised to disembark from the lander, embarking on an exploratory journey across the lunar landscape. The rover’s mission involves capturing essential data and imagery for transmission back to Earth.
Chandrayaan-3’s objectives encompass several scientific pursuits, notably the search for water-based ice. This discovery holds profound implications for potential human habitation on the Moon and the production of propellant for spacecraft bound for distant destinations, such as Mars. The vast, permanently shadowed regions are believed to house significant water ice reserves.
Equipped with five scientific instruments, the rover and lander combination aims to unveil the Moon’s surface characteristics, atmospheric attributes in close proximity to the surface, and delve into tectonic activities beneath the lunar exterior.
The rover, adorned with India’s flag and Isro’s logo, will imprint these symbols onto the lunar soil during its expedition.
Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar mission, aspires to build upon the triumphs of its predecessors, fostering substantial scientific advancements. Launched 15 years after Chandrayaan-1’s groundbreaking discovery of water molecules on the lunar surface and its revelation of lunar daytime atmosphere, this mission holds promise.
Even in the face of a soft landing setback during Chandrayaan-2, the mission’s orbiter persists in orbit and contributes to image and data transmission for analysis.
As India basks in this achievement, it is far from the only nation fixated on lunar exploration. A global interest in the Moon has culminated in numerous impending missions to this celestial neighbor, revealing that the enigmatic Moon continues to serve as a portal to deeper space mysteries.