Chandrayaan-3 Update: Rover’s Exploration and Preparations for Aditya L1 Mission

Chandrayaan-3 Update: Rover’s Exploration and Preparations for Aditya L1 Mission

Nilesh M. Desai, the Director of the Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad, shared insights into the ongoing Chandrayaan-3 mission, emphasizing its three crucial components. The mission involves a soft landing of the lander, deploying the rover named Pragyan to explore the lunar surface after detachment from the lander Vikram, and utilizing seven instruments to gather data. The third phase of the mission, which entails significant scientific activities, is now underway. Various experiments are being conducted using the instruments, with analysis and data collection in progress. The goal is to maximize the rover’s exploration on the lunar surface to gather valuable data. In the final 10 days of the mission, scientists are working diligently to achieve more tasks.

Long Night Ahead, Hope for Revival Remains

Following 14 Earth days, the moon will experience a dense and dark night that will last for the next 14 Earth days. During this period, several of the rover’s instruments will enter a sleep mode due to extreme temperatures ranging from -180 to -250 degrees Celsius. Solar energy won’t be accessible to the rover. If luck is on their side, after the extended night, the Chandrayaan-3 instruments might revive. If successful, this will provide valuable data from the southern hemisphere of the moon.

Analyzing the Causes of Moonquakes

Desai revealed that all the data from the instruments and experiments will be transmitted to Earth through the lander. This information will be reanalyzed using the lander’s communication system. During this phase, the Chaste instrument is measuring the temperature of the southern pole of the moon, while the Ilsaa instrument records lunar quakes. Moonquakes, similar to earthquakes on Earth, occur on the moon. The information obtained from Chandrayaan-3’s instruments will assist in deciphering several mysteries.

No Assistance from JPL

Desai disclosed that India did not receive support from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex for communication. Due to this, some initial visibility issues were encountered during rover communication and movement. As a result, the rover’s movement was restricted to 12 meters instead of the intended 30 meters.

Aditya L1 Mission to Launch

After the lunar landing, India is gearing up to launch the Aditya L1 mission, which is set to study the Sun. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced the mission on Monday, revealing that all preparations for the launch from Sriharikota have been completed. The Aditya L1 spacecraft will be positioned in the heliocentric orbit, approximately 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth. The heliocentric orbit lies between two gravitational forces of celestial bodies. ISRO invited the general public to be a part of this historic moment by participating in the launch viewing event at Sriharikota. Registration for attendance has already commenced.

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