Giving a much-awaited glimpse of Pragyan, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said the rover successfully traversed a distance of around eight metres on the lunar surface.
The ISRO released two videos of Pragyan, two days after the Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-3 made a historic soft-landing near the South Pole of the moon.
The first video shows the rover rolling out of the lander onto the lunar surface.
The video was captured by the Lander Imager Camera on Wednesday.
The second video shows the deployment of the ramp from the lander and the deployment of the solar panel of the rover. “A two-segment ramp facilitated the roll-down of the rover. A solar panel enabled the rover to generate power,” the ISRO said on Twitter.
Pragyan is an Indian lunar rover that forms part of Chandrayaan-3, a lunar mission developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Pragyan has a mass of about 27 kg and dimensions of 0.9 m × 0.75 m × 0.85 m (3.0 ft × 2.5 ft × 2.8 ft), with a power output of 50 watts.
It is designed to operate on solar power.
The rover moves on six wheels and is intended to traverse 500 metres on the lunar surface at the rate of 1 cmper second, performing on-site analysis and sending the data to its lander for relay back to the Earth.
For navigation, the rover was equipped with:
Stereoscopic camera-based 3D vision: two 1-megapixel, monochromatic NAVCAMs in front of the rover to provide the ground control team a 3D view of the surrounding terrain and help in path-planning by generating a digital elevation model of the terrain.
IIT Kanpur contributed to the development of the subsystems for light-based map generation and motion planning for the rover.
Control and motor dynamics: the rover design has a rocker-bogie suspension system and six wheels, each driven by independent brushless DC electric motors. Steering is accomplished by differential speed of the wheels or skid steering.
The expected operating time of the rover is one lunar day or around 14 Earth days, as its electronics were not designed to endure the frigid lunar night.
Its power system had a solar-powered sleep/wake-up cycle implemented, which could have resulted in longer service time than planned.
As a rover elaborate on the functions of Pragyan.