ISRO scientists race against time with 10 days left to complete one lunar day
Chandrayaan-3 mission: With only 10 days remaining for the completion of one lunar day, Nilesh M Desai, Director, Space Applications Centre (SAC) on Sunday said that the Chandrayaan-3's rover module Pragyan, moving on the surface of the moon is in a "race against time" and that the ISRO scientists are working to cover a maximum distance of the uncharted South pole through the six-wheeled rover.
The scientist said that "real work" starts only after a soft landing on the moon's surface.
India took a giant leap on August 23, as the Chandrayaan-3 lander module successfully landed on the moon’s South Pole, making it the first country to have achieved the historic feat.
The country became the fourth– after the US, China, and Russia – to have successfully landed on the moon’s surface.
"On August 23, we achieved a soft landing on the lunar surface and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also interacted with scientists of ISRO to congratulate them. But, the real work started after rover Pragyan rolled out of the lander Vikram," Desai said.
The Director of the Space Applications Centre, one of the major centres of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said that the moon mission's three main objectives were: soft landing on the lunar surface, movement of the Pragyan rover and obtaining science data via payloads, attached to the six-wheeled rover and lander Vikram.
"Our two main objectives have been accomplished successfully, but our third objective is underway," the scientist said.
Observing that the Pragyan rover is in a race against time, he said, "Our focus is to make the rover cover as much distance of the moon's South pole as possible so that it conducts more experiments and we obtain data here on earth."
"We have only 14 days in total for this mission, which is equal to one day on the moon, so four days have been completed. The more experiments and research we can do in the remaining ten days will be important. We are in a race against time because in these 10 days, we have to do maximum work and all the ISRO scientists are working on it," Desai said.
Stressing the difficulties being faced by scientists, he said, the rover has covered only 12 metres on the lunar surface against a prescribed distance of 30 metres per day.
We are also facing problems regarding the movement of the rover as some of the services are not available here, resulting in issues in visibility," he said, adding that the Pragyan has covered 12 metres on the lunar surface against a prescribed distance of 30 metres per day.
"That's why in the remaining days, efforts will be on to cover 300-400 meters distance through the rover," he added.
Significantly, the eagerly awaited Chandrayaan-3 mission carved a remarkable chapter in the nation's history, with the Chandrayaan-3 Vikram Lander accomplishing a successful touchdown on the Moon. This achievement positions India as the foremost country globally to achieve a spacecraft landing on the lunar South Pole.