The moment that a billion Indians had been waiting for with bated breath finally arrived as the Indian Space Research Organisation sharing the first selfies from the moon’s surface of India’s robots Vikram and Pragyan.
Chandrayaan-3 lander Vikram took images and a video of its ramp as the Pragyan rover was at its snail’s pace.
Sharing the video in a tweet, ISRO wrote, “… and here is how the Chandrayaan-3 Rover ramped down from the Lander to the Lunar surface.”
… … and here is how the Chandrayaan-3 Rover ramped down from the Lander to the Lunar surface. pic.twitter.com/nEU8s1At0W
— ISRO (@isro) August 25, 2023
Chandrayaan-3 successfully performed a soft landing on the moon at 6.04 pm on Wednesday evening, making India the fourth country to have successfully landed on the lunar surface. After nearly 4 hours, the Pragyan rover came out on the surface, the moment that has been captured in the latest video shared by ISRO.
The first track marks by the Pragyan rover are now etched on the moon’s surface for eternity.
The colour video released by the Indian space agency also shows that the solar panel of the Pragyan rover is receiving sunlight and a beautiful shadow of the Pragyan rover can also be seen on the lunar surface.
Chandrayaan-3’s accomplishment is special as no other spacecraft has been able to achieve a soft landing near the moon’s South Pole. The south pole – far from the equatorial region targeted by previous missions, including the crewed Apollo landings – is full of craters and deep trenches.
On closer examination, it also shows that Vikram has landed in an area that seems relatively plain which should give Pragyan the opportunity to do its moonwalk.
The sunlight on the moon where Vikram has landed will last for 14 days, and the rover has already started a series of scientific experiments. The findings from the Chandrayaan-3 mission could advance and expand knowledge of lunar water ice, potentially one of the moon’s most valuable resources.
ISRO is likely to show even better media to PM Modi when he visits on Friday.