Vikram, the Chandrayaan 3 lander, has unveiled its most recent lunar images today, following a successful maneuver that brought it closer to its intended target. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has unveiled these captivating visuals, which were captured by the Lander Imager (LI) Camera-1, now shared on the platform known as X, formerly recognized as Twitter. This collection of images offers a view of various craters on the moon’s surface, among them the Giordano Bruno crater, which stands out as one of the more recently formed large craters.
The LI Camera-1 also managed to capture visuals of the Harkhebi J crater, boasting a diameter of approximately 43 kilometers. These images were taken following the seamless detachment of the lander from the spacecraft’s propulsion module just the previous day.
In a playful tweet, ISRO conjured a whimsical dialogue between the lander module and the spacecraft, expressing gratitude with the words, “Thanks for the ride, mate.” The module’s next step involves transitioning into a lower orbit through a deboosting maneuver, thereby pulling it closer to the moon.
Today’s operation situates the Lander Module within an orbit where its Perilune (closest point to the Moon) is 30 kilometers, while its Apolune (farthest point from the Moon) extends to a distance of 100 kilometers.
The forthcoming mission entails the lander’s concerted effort for a “soft landing” on the southern polar region of the moon, scheduled for August 23. Meanwhile, the propulsion module will continue its orbital trajectory around the moon, analyzing Earth’s atmosphere. Additionally, this module will collect unique attributes from exoplanets exhibiting potential habitable conditions.
Following the lander’s touchdown and the subsequent settling of lunar dust, the ‘Pragyaan’ rover is set to embark on its descent from the Vikram Lander. In a mutual exchange of roles, the lander will also capture images of the rover.
In the aftermath of this lunar landing, the rover is poised to accumulate vital data regarding the composition and geological configuration of the lunar surface. This achievement sets the stage for a wide-ranging array of research ventures.