Chandrayaan-3 mission: Amazing Vikram Lander hop was unplanned! ISRO pulled off a miracle
Chandrayaan-3 mission: ISRO Project Director P Veeramuthuvel said the Vikram lander hop, one of the most fascinating experiments on the Moon was unplanned. ISRO virtually achieved a miracle with this move.
Chandrayaan-3 mission created headlines when the Vikram lander landed safely on the Moon's surface on August 23, 2023. The whole world congratulated ISRO and its efforts to make the mission happen. After a safe landing, the Pragyan rover was successfully moved out of the Vikram Lander and thereafter, it explored the Moon. However, the 14-day mission was paused due to the looming lunar night at the beginning of September. Now, Project Director P Veeramuthuvel has shed light on the objectives of the Chandrayaan-3 mission and one of its fascinating experiments, Vikram Lander hop test. Know what the ISRO director had to say.
Chandrayaan-3 mission objectives
Project Director P Veeramuthuvel said in a recent interview with India Today that the Chandrayaan-3 mission has already completed its objectives, which was to conduct studies on the lunar surface for one lunar day (14 days on Earth). Thereafter, Vikram lander and Pragyan rover were put in sleep mode due to the looming lunar night. As they were not equipped with the right equipment to survive the harsh, freezing temperatures of the lunar night, both may have succumbed sometime during this night period. However, scientists still have some hope. During the lunar night, the temperature on the Moon dips between -150 to -200 degrees which makes it hard for the equipment to survive.
What was missing and would have ensured that Vikram lander and Pragyan rover survived the cold and darkness? The director said, “We don't have nuclear resources and we were completely depending on solar power generation.”
Veeramuthuvel also mentioned that ISRO conducted all the necessary planned activities such as operating all the scientific instruments and deploying all the payloads for necessary data collection.
Vikram Lander Hop Experiment
One of the most eye-catching experiments that was carried out by ISRO was the Vikram lander hop experiment. Now, it has been revealed that this miracle was achieved despite the entire thing being quite unplanned. It was not planned by ISRO before the launch of the Chandrayaan-3 mission. And therefore, it can rightly be said that the mission has already exceeded its highest expectations. The Vikram lander hop experiment took 24 hours of planning and strategizing as scientists had to decide on a new landing location for the Moon lander.
Now with the sun on the Moon's south pole setting again, the revival chances for the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover have decreased and ISRO might not be able to communicate with them ever again. However, for ISRO, the Chandrayaan-3 mission was a historic success and it contributed to various unexpected discoveries.
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