The Chandrayaan-3 mission’s lander Vikram has achieved another significant milestone as it successfully undertook a hop experiment.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday said that the lander successfully underwent a hop experiment and 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.
This successful hop experiment and kickstart could have significant bearing on the future missions which are launched with an objective to bring back samples from the moon and also future human missions to the moon.
The lander module with the rover, Pragyan in the belly made a successful softlanding on August 23, thereafter Pragyan was ramped down on the lunar surface.
“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. Importance?: This ‘kickstart’ enthuses future sample return and human missions,” the space organisation posted on X (formerly Twitter).
It added that all systems performed nominally and were healthy.
“Deployed Ramp, ChaSTE and ILSA were folded back and redeployed successfully after the experiment,” the ISRO added.
The lander module with the rover, Pragyan, in the belly made a successful soft-landing on August 23, and Pragyan was ramped down on the lunar surface a few hours later.
Since then one of the payloads onboard the Vikram while conducting in-situ measurements has indicated the presence of plasma near the lunar surface. Two payloads have detected and confirmed sulphur in the moon’s south polar region.
Besides, Pragyan has traversed over 100 metres from Vikram on the surface of the moon.
The ISRO said on September 2 that the Pragyan had completed its assignments and it had been safely parked and set into sleep mode.
The battery was fully charged and the solar panel was oriented to receive the light at the next sunrise expected on September 22, it added.