In an unprecedented achievement in the field of space exploration, Chandrayaan-3 has successfully conducted a study of the soil temperature on the Moon's southern pole.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) took to social media on Sunday to share the latest findings stemming from Chandrayaan-3's mission. These findings were made possible through the utilization of the ChaSTE payload housed within the Vikram Lander.
This accomplishment comes days after Chandrayaan-3's gentle touchdown on August 23. The disclosed observations provide a comprehensive analysis of the lunar soil characteristics at the southern pole, encompassing the temperature fluctuations up to a depth of 10cm beneath the lunar surface, as communicated by ISRO.
Temperature variations of the lunar surface at distinct depths
The temperature variations of the lunar surface at distinct depths, meticulously recorded during the probe's gradual descent, have been visually represented through a shared graph. According to this graphical representation, it is discernible that the temperature of the lunar surface experiences a gradual reduction with an increase in depth.
At a depth of 8 cm, the payload recorded temperature as low as (-) 10 degrees centigrade. With the gradual rise towards the surface, the temperature too could be seen rising.
Above the surface, the graph showed a relative stagnancy in temperature between 50-60 degrees centigrade.
"This is the first such profile for the lunar south pole. Detailed observations are underway," ISRO said.
On Wednesday, India took a giant leap as the Chandrayaan-3 lander module successfully landed on the moon’s South Pole, making it the first country to have achieved the historic feat and bringing to an end the disappointment over the crash landing of the Chandrayaan-2, four years ago.
Overall, India became the fourth country – after the US, China, and Russia – to have successfully landed on the moon’s surface. Chandrayaan-3 mission's estimated cost is ₹600 crore.
Meanwhile, the Pragyan rover rolled out of Chandrayaan-3 Vikram lander’s belly and walked on the lunar surface. A video was released by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday, which showed the rover coming out of the lander through a ramp.
Objectives of Chandrayaan-3
Upon landing, the lander and the rover are operating and doing their set tasks and experiments for one lunar day. One day on the Moon is equal to 14 days on Earth.
The stated objectives of Chandrayaan-3, India's third lunar mission, were a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, the rover moving on the moon's surface, and in-situ scientific experiments. The spacecraft was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota on July 14.
Chandrayaan-2 mission was only “partially successful” since the lander lost contact after a hard landing. The ISRO though recently managed to establish a two-way communication between the Chandrayaan-3 lander module and the still-orbiting Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.
(With inputs from ANI)