New Delhi, Sep 4 (EFE).- India’s mission at the south pole of the Moon exceeded its objectives with a successful hop experiment, a take off and touchdown maneuver on the lunar surface
This is believed to be a key step for Indian probes to return to Earth from the Moon in the future.
“Vikram Lander exceeded its mission objectives. It successfully underwent a hop experiment. On command, it fired the engines, elevated itself by about 40 cm as expected and landed safely at a distance of 30 – 40 cm away,” the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) posted Monday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
This operation was carried out during the final hours of daylight on the south pole of the Moon as the Vikram Lander requires solar power to function.
Before the sun sets completely on this part of the moon, ISRO will put the Lander on sleep mode, as it did on Saturday with the Pragyan rover.
Both the lander and the rover – also powered by sunlight – are scheduled to wake up on Sep. 22, coinciding with the next sunrise at that part of the Moon.
The initial expectations of the Indian scientists were 14 Earth days – equivalent to half a lunar day – for the duration of the mission.
During this period, the explorer and the lander have carried out many experiments to study the southernmost part of the Moon.
While Pragyan traveled through the lunar soil to take pictures, and came to detect the presence of sulfur, Vikram analyzed the seismic activity of the Moon, studied the heat flux and the density of the plasma near the surface.
On Aug. 23, India achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first nation to land a craft near the uncharted lunar south pole through its Chandrayaan-3 mission.
On Saturday, India launched a probe to study the Sun, which is expected to take about four months to reach its destination, a gravitational stable point between the two celestial bodies about 1.5 million kilometers from our planet. EFE