Indian space agency ISRO has released images from the navigation camera of its lunar rover, Pragyan, during a close tour of its base near the Moon’s south pole.
In a comment on its account on the X social network, ISRO explained that the rover, part of the Chandrayaan 3 mission, encountered an obstacle in its path and had to change its trajectory.
“On August 27, 2023, the rover encountered a 4 meter diameter crater located 3 meters ahead of its location.
The rover was ordered back on track. It is now safely on a new trajectory,” explains ISRO.
One image shows the crater in front of the rover, while another shows the vehicle’s tracks after taking a new path for its investigation.
The 60-pound, six-wheeled vehicle uses its navigation cameras — the likes of which no spacecraft has ever landed — and sends images back to Earth, which then sends instructions to the ISRO rover, which can travel up to 500 km. meters from the lander called Vikram.
As for payloads, it has an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and a Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) to obtain elemental composition in the vicinity of the lander.
Pragyaan is expected to last for one lunar day, 14 Earth days, and freeze when the Sun stops heating.