At 6:04 PM on today, India etched its name in history as it accomplished a remarkable feat: successfully landing the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the Moon’s southern pole. This achievement comes just days after a Russian probe, Luna-25, met with an unfortunate crash in the identical region.
Chandrayaan-3, derived from the Sanskrit term “Mooncraft,” successfully made its touchdown near the relatively unexplored lunar south pole. This achievement follows the setback of India’s previous attempt, Chandrayaan-2, which faced failure in 2019.
Operating on solar power, the rover named ‘Pragyaan’ is set to conduct surface explorations and transmit crucial data to Earth during its two-week operational span.
In contrast to the rapid Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s, Chandrayaan-3’s journey to the Moon was notably lengthier, spanning a considerable duration.
Over its two-week operational period, the solar-powered rover will explore the lunar surface and facilitate data transmission back to Earth.
India’s choice of less powerful rockets in comparison to the ones employed by the United States during that era has resulted in a unique approach, requiring the probe to undertake multiple orbits around Earth to attain the necessary velocity before embarking on its month-long voyage to the Moon.
The lander, Vikram, meaning “valour” in Sanskrit, successfully separated from its propulsion module the previous week and has been providing visual insights into the Moon’s terrain since its entry into lunar orbit on August 5th.