The Pragyan rover aboard the Vikram lander, which touched down on the Moon on Wednesday, rolled out on the lunar surface on Thursday after more than 10 hours of silence in what sparked a cheer among the scientific community.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) uploaded a video on X (formerly Twitter) at 11.11am on Friday that showed Pragyan rolling out onto the lunar surface.
The Indian space agency said the three lander module payloads have been switched on, and rover mobility operations have begun.
The payloads in the lander module are Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (Ilsa), Radio Anatomy of Moon-Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA), and Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChasTE).
While Ilsa will explore seismicity at the landing site to understand the moon’s crust and mantle, ChaSTE will measure thermal properties on the lunar surface near the south pole, and RAMBHA will investigate the gas and plasma environment on the lunar surface.
The rover, on the other hand, will conduct investigations to determine the elemental composition of lunar soil.
Elated by this thread on social media, several took to X asking for pictures of the moonwalk after ISRO shared about the moonwalk.
The prolonged silence on Isro’s part about the rover had kept the scientific community as well as the general public on the edge.
The solar panels attached to the rover can generate 50W of power to carry out required mission maneuvers, Isro had said.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the Press Trust of India, T.V. Venkateswaran, a Delhi-based scientist, said “The rover will move a maximum 500 meters from the lander. Within that area, it will try to collect samples and test the elemental compositions and minerals present in the lunar soil known as regolith.”
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