August 28, 2023
NEW DELHI – The Vikram Lander of India’s Moon mission Chandrayaan 3, which had landed near the south pole region of our closest celestial neighbour on August 23, has successfully started carrying out its mission and subsequently sending the data back to ISRO headquarters. On Sunday, Vikram sent its first observations recorded by the Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) payload it carried along with rover Pragyan.
Sharing the data sent by Vikram, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that ChaSTE recorded variations of temperature on the lunar surface. The ISRO shared a graph on X (earlier known as Twitter) that showed the difference in temperature on the Moon’s surface and underneath.
What are the findings Vikram Lander sent to ISRO?
At a depth of 8 cm, the payload attached to Chandrayaan 3’s lander Vikram recorded temperature as low as (-) 10 degrees centigrade. With the gradual rise towards the surface, the temperature too could be seen rising. Above the surface, the graph showed a relative stagnancy in temperature between 50-60 degrees centigrade.
“This is the first such profile for the lunar south pole. Detailed observations are underway,” the space agency said.
Earlier on Wednesday, India created history after its ambitious moon mission Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed on the lunar surface. With this historic feat, India became the fourth country to achieve a successful soft landing on the Moon after the USA, the former Soviet Union, and China.
India also became the first country to land on the little-explored south pole region of the Moon.
Rover Pragyan roaming around Vikram in pursuit of lunar secrets
Meanwhile, rover Pragyan is also roaming around Shiv Shakti point in the south pole area of the Moon. The spot on the Moon where Vikram landed was named Shiv Shakti Point by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A video tweeted by ISRO shows rover Pragyan taking baby steps as it goes away from lander Vikram.
The rover is currently roaming around Chandrayaan 3’s lander module in pursuit of lunar secrets and will continue its mission for around two weeks. According to ISRO, the rover has so far walked a distance of eight meters. It is capable of walking half a kilometer during its 14-day mission.