ISRO Shares Captivating Photo: Pragyan Rover Captures Chandrayaan-3 Lander Vikram, Spreading Smiles!

Pragyan Rover Captures Smiling Vikram Lander: ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 Update

In a cheerful update, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) revealed that the Pragyan rover of the Chandrayaan-3 mission captured an image of the Vikram lander. Shared through ISRO’s official X account, the tweet exclaimed, “Smile, please!” The snapshot was taken by Pragyan’s Navigation Camera (NavCam) on Wednesday morning.

This news arrives as the rover approaches the midpoint of its one lunar day existence, equivalent to 14 Earth days. The lunar environment poses challenges, as both the rover and lander are expected to cease functioning once temperatures drop to -130°C in the absence of sunlight.

The Pragyan rover has been traversing the lunar surface, analyzing craters and unraveling the Moon’s elemental composition. A significant achievement occurred when one of the mission’s instruments successfully conducted the first elemental analysis near the Moon’s South pole. This analysis confirmed the presence of sulphur and identified other elements, including aluminium, calcium, iron, chromium, titanium, manganese, silicon, and oxygen. The search for hydrogen remains ongoing.

Notably, these detailed observations cannot be accomplished by moon-orbiting spacecraft, including Chandrayaan 2. The Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument, employed in Chandrayaan-3, can swiftly detect elements in various states, aiding in a rapid analysis within the mission’s tight timeframe of 14 days.

Earlier, the rover faced a hurdle when encountering a four-meter-wide crater, necessitating a change in its route. ISRO directed the rover to backtrack and adopt a new path. The tracks left by the six-wheeled rover were captured by its navigation camera.

Meanwhile, ISRO is gearing up for the significant Aditya L1 mission. With rehearsals and internal checks completed, the launch is scheduled for Saturday at 11.50 am from Sriharikota.

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