Vikram Lander does a first on Moon in nearly 50 years as Chandrayaan-3 mission rolls on

Vikram lander detected seismic activity, a moonquake, on the moon on August 26, 2023, through its Instrument for recording Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA).

| Updated on: Sep 10 2023, 11:46 IST
Chandrayaan-3: 5 points to know as moon landing date looms large
1/6 Chandrayaan-3 was launched on  July 14 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota with the help of a GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle. Here are 5 points to know: (PTI)
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2/6 As Chandrayaan-3 moves into its final phase of landing the lander on the moon, former Chief Controller (R&D) of the DRDO Dr Apathukatha Sivathanu Pillai, said that it will be "100% successful". The landing date is likely August 23.  (PTI)
3/6 Progress is rapid and on schedule and recently, ISRO has even shared videos of the Moon along with Earth captured by the Vikram lander.  (ISRO)
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4/6 The lander reached an orbit with its closest point to the moon (Perilune) at 30 km. The farthest point (the Apolune) will be 100 km. ( REUTERS)
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5/6 . ISRO has revealed that the next deboosting operation for Chandrayaan-3 mission landing on the moon is scheduled for August 20, 2023. (REUTERS)
6/6 Dr Pillai explained the importance of Chandrayaan-3 to ANI and said, "It will enable the identification of various lunar resources, particularly Helium-3, which holds promise as a future energy source." (ISRO Twitter)
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When Vikram Lander recorded the Moonquake, it marked the first recording of seismic activity on the Moon since the Apollo lunar missions between 1969 and 1977 (ANI)

In a historic achievement, India's uncrewed Vikram Lander successfully touched down near the lunar south pole. This groundbreaking mission, part of ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 mission, has not only expanded our understanding of the moon but also potentially unveiled the first evidence of a moonquake in nearly 50 years.

The Vikram lander, equipped with various scientific instruments, including the Pragyan rover, is providing invaluable insights into the moon's south pole region. Recently, Pragyan confirmed the presence of sulfur in the area, shedding light on the moon's composition. However, the most intriguing discovery came from Vikram Lander itself, as it detected seismic activity on the moon's surface on August 26, 2023, through its Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA).


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) promptly reported this seismic discovery on the X platform, describing it as a "natural event" and stating that the source is currently under investigation. This recording of the seismic activity potentially marks the first moonquake registered since the Apollo lunar missions between 1969 and 1977 detected similar events. These earlier findings explained about moon's geological structure, revealing that it possessed a complex and layered composition, unlike the uniformly rocky Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos.

Advancements in analysis tools and computer models have allowed scientists to revisit the data collected from previous missions, ultimately explaining in detail about the Moon's enigmatic interior. A 2011 NASA study suggested that the Moon, like Earth, likely has a core consisting of fluid iron surrounding a dense, solid iron ball. Researchers in May 2023 proposed that molten mantle blobs might separate from the core, rising to the surface as iron clumps, triggering moonquakes, as mentioned in a report by Live Science.

Chandrayaan-3 is now in a waiting period, with both the Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover in sleep mode. ISRO is expecting them to be awakened by 22 September when the Sun rises again on the lunar south pole. Both Pragyan Rover and Vikram Lander will continue the mission on awakening. ISRO hopes they will awaken once the Sun comes to the region where they are asleep now.

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First Published Date: 10 Sep, 11:46 IST