India’s space agency, ISRO, has released images from the navigation camera of its lunar rover, Pragyan, during a flyby of its position near the moon’s south pole.
Commenting on its X social network account, ISRO explained that the rover, which is part of the Chandrayaan 3 mission, encountered an obstacle in its path and had to change course.
On August 27, 2023, the rover encountered a crater 4 meters in diameter located 3 meters from its location.
The rover was ordered to get back on track. “It is now safely heading down a new path,” ISRO explains.
One image shows the same crater in front of the rover, while the other shows the rover’s tracks after it took a new route to investigate it.
The six-wheeled, 60-pound vehicle uses its navigation cameras to scan the area—where no spacecraft has ever landed before—and transmit the images back to Earth. ISRO then sends instructions to the rover, which can travel up to 500 kilometers. meters away from the lander named Vikram.
In terms of payloads, it contains an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and a Laser Induced Decay Spectrometer (LIBS) to derive the elemental composition near the landing site.
The two towers are expected to operate for one lunar day, 14 Earth days, before they freeze when the sun stops heating the area.
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