(USNewsMag.com) – After landing on the south pole of the moon late on Aug. 23, India’s Chandrayaan-3 rover rolled out of the lander and began conducting experiments as well as exploring the surface of the moon.
On Twitter, the Indian Space Research Organization posted that “India took a walk on the moon!”
This is India’s first moon landing, and the historic landing makes India the first country to land a spacecraft on the south pole of the moon. The rough terrain of the south pole has made landing challenging. The project had a budget of approximately $75 million.
Scientists believe that the water ice found in the rocks in the south pole’s crater could be capable of providing fuel, oxygen, and drinking water for future moon missions.
The solar-powered Chandrayaan-3 is expected to remain functional for two weeks, or one lunar day. The “Pragyan” rover will study the moon’s dust and gravel using two instruments to conduct both chemical composition and elemental experiments, according to Indian Space Research Organization Chief S. Somanath.
The rover will also conduct a robotic path planning exercise that will be used for future exploration.
So far, Somanath stated that both the rover and lander were “working very well. Though Somanath added that lunar dust and temperatures could impact moving parts,
The historic landing was watched across India, with nearly 7 million people viewing the YouTube live stream. Places of worship held prayer services while students watched live streaming of the landing.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated the landing was not only a moment of pride but also “a pat on the back for Indian scientists.
In 2019, India’s Chandrayaan-2 failed to land at the south pole, instead crashing into the moon due to a software glitch. A botched orbital maneuver also caused Russia’s Luna-25 to crash into the moon on Aug. 19, just days before the Chandrayaan-3 landing. This was Russia’s first attempt to land on the moon in 47 years.
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