Now that Chandrayaan-3 has landed on Moon, what's next for Vikram lander and Pragyan rover?

Sweta Gupta
Sweta GuptaAug 24, 2023 | 13:24

Now that Chandrayaan-3 has landed on Moon, what's next for Vikram lander and Pragyan rover?

Over the next 14 days, it will carry out various scientific experiments. (Photo Credits: Twitter/@MrArunKumaroffl)

India's Chandrayaan-3, the third lunar mission by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), achieved a remarkable and gentle touchdown on the Moon on Wednesday.

With this achievement, India became the fourth country to successfully land a rover on the Moon, notably pioneering a rover landing in close proximity to the Moon's South Pole.

Simultaneously, the Pragyan rover descended from the Vikram lander and has initiated its movement on the lunar surface.


Over the upcoming 14 days, it will conduct a variety of scientific experiments.

What to anticipate

The Pragyan rover has effectively disembarked from the Vikram lander of the Chandrayaan-3 mission and is currently traversing the Moon's surface.

  • The primary objective of the Pragyan rover is to conduct on-site scientific experiments on the lunar terrain.
  • These experiments are meticulously crafted to unveil the Moon's geological enigmas, providing valuable insights into its composition and history.
  • Equipped with the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) payload, the rover will analyze the Moon's surface, deciphering its chemical and mineral makeup, thereby contributing to a profound understanding of its landscape.

Furthermore, the Pragyan rover is outfitted with the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS), a tool designed to identify the elemental composition of lunar soil and rocks within the landing vicinity.

Vikram and Pragyan: A mission's pursuit

The Vikram lander and Pragyan rover's mission duration is set at 14 days, aligning with the period of sunlight available near the lunar South Pole following landing.

  • After this period, both the lander and rover are anticipated to cease operations due to power depletion.
  • Vikram and Pragyan are initially slated to operate for one lunar day, equivalent to approximately 14 Earth days.

ISRO has meticulously engineered these lander and rover units to harness solar energy and recharge their batteries, a process feasible only during the lunar day.

Should the lander and rover endure the challenging lunar night, spanning around 14.75 Earth days, there exists a possibility of reactivation once the subsequent lunar day commences and sunlight becomes avaialble again.

Post-landing duties

  • Following a triumphant landing, the Lander and Rover will initiate a series of experiments to address a longstanding curiosity among scientists: the lunar atmosphere and its intricate soil, known as regolith, which contains vital elements such as Magnesium, Aluminum, Potassium, Iron, and Silica.
  • Additionally, the Lander will insert a probe about 10cm deep into the uneven lunar soil to scrutinize its composition.
  • Delving even deeper, it will apply an electric current to measure surface heat and electrical characteristics.
  • Moreover, an instrument will be deployed on the surface to unveil the Moon's seismic tendencies by observing the vibrations it generates

These revelations hold the potential to unlock opportunities for lunar resource extraction, including crucial elements for astronaut sustenance and spacecraft fuel.


India has accomplished a historic feat by becoming the first country to land on the Moon's South Pole.

The mission's pivotal juncture was during the final 20 minutes, when the Automatic Landing Sequence (ALS) was activated by ISRO. This enabled the Vikram LM to autonomously select a suitable landing site and execute a gentle touchdown using its onboard systems.

The last 15 to 20 minutes were pivotal for the success of Chandrayaan-3, as the Vikram lander descended. This moment was highly anticipated, and millions of Indians worldwide held their hopes high for its success.

Last updated: August 24, 2023 | 14:07
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