Chandrayaan-3: Vikram Imager’s First Moon Images Unveiled

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has released the inaugural photographs taken by Vikram’s imager camera, the Chandrayaan-3 lander, showcasing the moon’s surface. ISRO’s official X (formerly Twitter) account has unveiled images of the rover named Pragyan. These visuals have been made public just 48 hours subsequent to Vikram’s monumental lunar touchdown. A video shared by the space agency depicts the rover’s emergence as it descends from the extended ramps of the Vikram lander.

Pragyan, the rover, initiated its roll-out early on the morning of Thursday, August 24, and subsequently commenced its roving operations later in the same day. The activation of its payloads is anticipated to take place today (Friday). During the preceding Thursday, three payloads mounted on the Vikram lander were activated. ISRO had conveyed through a tweet on August 24, “Chandrayaan-3 Mission is proceeding according to plan. All systems are functioning normally.” The tweet continued, “The Lander Module’s payloads – ILSA, RAMBHA, and ChaSTE – were activated today. Additionally, the rover’s mobility operations have also begun. Furthermore, the SHAPE payload on the Propulsion Module was activated on Sunday.

Achieving Elite Club

Following a 40-day voyage through space, the Chandrayaan-3 lander named ‘Vikram’ achieved a historic touchdown on the unexplored lunar South Pole on Wednesday evening. This remarkable feat positions India as the pioneering nation to achieve this milestone. As a result, India joins the exclusive ranks of the United States, Russia, and China as the fourth country to achieve a triumphant lunar landing mission.

Chandrayaan-3 represents India’s third lunar mission and the second endeavor aimed at accomplishing a gentle landing on the Moon. The preceding attempt, Chandrayaan-2 in 2019, unfortunately, did not achieve the intended soft landing. A little over a decade earlier, in 2008, ISRO had initiated the Chandrayaan-1 mission.

Lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre situated in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, the spacecraft’s launch took place on July 14. Employing a GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle, the spacecraft was successfully positioned in the lunar orbit on August 5. Subsequently, it underwent a sequence of orbital adjustments before precisely targeting the lunar surface.

Niyati Rao

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