Rover Pragyan marks successful next stage; rolls out of Chandrayaan-3 lander
By smoothly landing Chandrayaan 3 on the Southern surface of the moon, India has done what no other nation in the world has. That too with only Rs 615 crore cost, achieving soft landing with clinical precision, India has really gone miles ahead of many other competing nations, including the biggies – the US, Chin a & Russia.
The cost, which is only Rs 615 crore or $75 million is a testament to the skilled team of the Indian Space Research Organization (“ISRO”). In Victoria, we paid almost 16-18 times of that in $1.2 – $1.5 billion for not making a road (East West Link), while India has conquered the Moon in what can be labelled as pocket money for the rich and famous in the West.
Most recently, we paid more than 5 times of that, for cancelling the Commonwealth games 2026.
That tells things can be managed within budgets with patience, perseverance and dexterity.
Chandrayaan-3 mission’s Lander Module, which touched down on the lunar surface, has rolled out the rover, Pragyan, with ISRO saying “India took a walk on the moon”.
ISRO through its official Twitter account tweeted the “rover ramped down.” “Chandrayaan-3 ROVER: Made in India–Made for the Moon! The Ch-3 Rover ramped down from the lander and India took a walk on the moon!”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is attending the BRICS summit in South Africa, took time off his busy schedule to anxiously watch the final minutes of the conquering of the moon by India.
The moment, Chandrayaan 3 landed, an ecstatic Narendra Modi was seen passionately waving the national flag.
President Droupadi Murmu congratulated the ISRO team for the successful deployment of Pragyan.
“Its rolling out a few hours after the landing of Vikram marked the success of yet another stage of Chandrayaan 3. I look forward with excitement, alongside my fellow citizens and scientists, to the information and analyses that Pragyan will acquire and enrich our understanding of the moon”, she said.
Chandrayaan 3’s LM Vikram touched down the lunar surface at 6.04 pm India time on Wednesday, sending the nation into wild celebrations.
The lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan) — with a total mass of 1,752 kg — are designed to operate for one lunar daylight period (about 14 Earth days) to study the surroundings there.
The rover will carry out in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface during the course of its mobility.
Both the lander and the rover have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface.
The rover would study the surface of the moon through its payloads APXS – Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer – to derive the chemical composition and infer mineralogical composition to further enhance understanding of the lunar surface.
Pragyan also has another payload–Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) to determine the elemental composition of lunar soil and rocks around the lunar landing site.
ISRO Chairman S Somnath had earlier said, “After powered descent (of lander) on to the landing site, there will be deployment of ramp and rover coming out. After this all the experiments will take place one after the other — all of which have to be completed in just one day on the moon, which is 14 days.”
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