Chandrayaan-3’s Pragyan Rover Found Rock Fragments at Moon’s Shiv Shakti Point

India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission has unveiled fresh insights into the lunar landscape at the Moon’s southern high-latitude region, following a detailed analysis of data collected by the Pragyan rover. These revelations provide valuable information regarding the composition and origin of rock fragments found in the South Pole region.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has reported that the Pragyan rover identified small rock fragments scattered across the rims, slopes, and floors of small craters at the landing site. These fragments range from one centimeter to approximately 11.5 centimeters in size, contributing to a deeper understanding of the lunar regolith, the loose layer covering the Moon’s surface.

According to ISRO, these findings mark a significant advancement in lunar exploration, corroborating previous studies and indicating a gradual coarsening of rock fragments within the lunar regolith.

The Pragyan rover, deployed by the Vikram lander, traversed approximately 103 meters on the lunar surface during a single lunar day. Its journey took place in the Nectarian plains region between the Manzinus and Boguslawsky craters, an area of considerable scientific interest. India has designated Chandrayana-3 Vikram lander’s touchdown site as the Shiva Shakti Point.

Chandrayaan-3 is a continuation of India’s lunar exploration efforts following Chandrayaan-2, aiming to demonstrate complete capability in safe landing and surface roving. Chandrayaan-3 consists of an indigenous Lander module (LM), a Propulsion module (PM), and a Rover to develop and demonstrate new technologies required for Interplanetary missions.  The main function of the Propulsion Module (PMis to carry the lander Module (LM) from launch vehicle injection till the final lunar 100 km circular polar orbit, where the LM separates from PM.

India achieved a historic milestone in 2023 with the successful soft landing of the Vikram lander on unexplored lunar terrain near the South Pole, marking a significant achievement in space exploration.

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