Chandrayaan 3’s Vikram lander has successfully touched down on the moon’s south pole, sparking jubilation across the country. But the arduous task lies ahead for India’s third moon mission.
Once the Chandrayaan 3 deploys the rover near the lunar south pole, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists have said they will run a series of experiments for 14 days to learn more about the composition of lunar soil and rocks. The south pole on the moon is expected to have ice deposits and minerals.
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India is looking to become the first country to conduct studies of the South Pole. No mission has yet ventured to this part of the moon.
The rover payloads will carry out quantitative and qualitative elemental analysis. They will derive the chemical composition and infer mineralogical composition to further the understanding of lunar surface.
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Chandra’s Surface Thermo Physical Experiment (ChaSTE) will carry out the measurements of thermal properties of lunar surface near polar region.
The Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) will measure the seismicity around the landing site and delineating the structure of the lunar crust and mantle.
The LASER Retroreflector Array, a passive experiment will be carried out to understand the dynamics of moon system.
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The Radio Anatomy of Moon-bound Hypersensitive ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA), a lander payload, will measure the near surface plasma density and its changes with time.
Chandrayaan 3’s soft landing took place days after Russia’s Luna 25 spacecraft crashed into the moon after spinning out of control.
Chandrayaan 3’s ‘Vikram’ lander and the six-wheeled rover are designed to operate for one lunar daylight period.
The four-legged lander had multiple sensors to ensure a safe touchdown, including an accelerometer, altimeters, Doppler velocimeter, inclinometer, touchdown sensor, and a suite of cameras for hazard avoidance and positional knowledge.