Science

Chandrayaan-3: First Images Of Lander Vikram On Moon Surface Clicked By Rover Pragyan Show Two Scientific Instruments At Work

Swarajya Staff

Aug 30, 2023, 02:49 PM | Updated 02:48 PM IST

Images of the lander Vikram on the lunar surface taken by rover Pragyan. (ISRO/Twitter)
Images of the lander Vikram on the lunar surface taken by rover Pragyan. (ISRO/Twitter)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has released the first images of the Vikram lander positioned on the lunar surface.

The pictures of the lander were taken on Wednesday (30 August) morning, just a week following the triumphant soft landing on the Moon.

The captivating images were taken by the navigation camera mounted on the Pragyan rover at 7.35 am, conforming to India's local time.

The photograph distinctly portrays the Vikram lander in its stationary state on the Moon's terrain. Notably, two of the lander's crucial payloads, named ChaSTE and ILSA, are discernible in the photograph, as highlighted by ISRO.

One of these payloads, ChaSTE (Chandra's Surface Thermophysical Experiment), is specifically designed to gauge the temperature distribution of the lunar topsoil encircling the pole.

This vital data acquisition aims to deepen our comprehension of the thermal dynamics governing the Moon's surface. Impressively, ISRO has already acquired the initial dataset using this instrumental setup.

The instrument has detected aluminium, calcium, iron, chromium, titanium, manganese, silicon and oxygen, ISRO had announced on Tuesday (29 August).

"Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) instrument onboard the Rover unambiguously confirms the presence of Sulphur (S) in the lunar surface near the south pole, through first-ever in-situ measurements. Al, Ca, Fe, Cr, Ti, Mn, Si, and O are also detected, as expected," the space agency has said, adding, "Search for Hydrogen (H) is underway."

The second prominently visible instrument visible in the image is the Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA).

This cutting-edge device has a dual function: tracking ongoing lunar seismic events and monitoring meteor impacts on the lunar landscape.

The continuous observations provided by ILSA promise valuable insights into the seismic and impact dynamics of the Moon.


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