Chandrayaan-3: On Friday, the Indian Space Research Organisation announced that during its landing on the Moon, the lander Vikram dislodged over 2.06 tonnes of lunar regolith, or rocks and soil. On August 23, Chandrayaan-3 accomplished a historic moon landing. At the Shiva Shakti Point in the South Polar Region of the Moon, the lander module Vikram and the rover Pragyan made landfall.
A Detailed Examination of the ‘Ejecta Halo’ Phenomenon
A stunning ‘ejecta halo’ of lunar material was created by the Chandrayaan-3 Lander Module as it descended. Scientists from the ISRO-affiliated National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) observed and recorded this phenomena. Their research indicates that a surface area of 108.4 square metres was affected by the ejection and displacement of about 2.06 tonnes of lunar epiregolith. The goal of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, which is a follow-up to the Chandrayaan-2 mission, is to show that it is possible to safely land and roam the moon.
High-Res Images Reveal Chandrayaan-3’s Lunar ‘Ejecta Halo’
Researchers contrasted high-resolution images captured by the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter’s Orbiter High-Resolution Camera (OHRC) before and after landing. The photos, which showed this “ejecta halo” as an erratic light patch encircling the lander, were taken both hours before and after the landing event. Performing in-situ scientific experiments, showcasing the rover’s mobility on the Moon, and executing a safe and gentle landing on the Moon are among the mission’s goals.
Chandrayaan-3’s Lunar Landing Makes India the First Nation to Achieve the Feat
India became the first nation to land a spacecraft on the moon when Chandrayaan-3 successfully touched down close to the south pole. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated the mission’s accomplishment, calling it an achievement that “belongs to all of humanity”. Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing provides a detailed examination of the ‘ejecta halo’ phenomena. The influence of lunar landings on the lunar surface is elucidated by the paper “Characterisation of Ejecta Halo on the Lunar Surface Around Chandrayaan-3 Vikram Lander Using OHRC Imagery”.
Research Estimates Over 2.06 Tonnes of Lunar Soil Ejected During Landing
“From the mapped and classified, uncorrelated ‘ejecta halo’ pixels, an approximate areal extent of 108.4 m2 is estimated to have been covered by lunar epiregolith ejecta displaced due to the landing sequence of the Vikram lander. Further, using empirical relations, we estimate that approximately 2.06 tonnes of lunar epiregolith were ejected due to the landing event,” the paper read. It is important to note that before rolling out the Pragyan rover on the Moon, Isro had to wait for the lunar soil that the thrusters had kicked off to settle down.