BENGALURU: Isro on Monday announced that the Chandrayaan-3 rover, Pragyan, encountered a 4-meter diameter crater on August 27. This unexpected crater caused the rover to change its path, but it was successfully commanded to retrace its steps and is now safely heading on a new path. This is the second crater that Pragyan has encountered, with the first being a smaller crater with a depth of approximately 100mm.
According to a senior scientist, the decision to avoid the larger crater and choose a safer path was made due to its size. The rover operations on the Moon are semi-autonomous, requiring commands to be sent from Earth for its mobility. For every path planning, the rover’s onboard navigation camera data is downloaded to the ground for the generation of a digital elevation model (DEM), which is used to determine the best path for the rover to follow.
Pragyan’s movement on the Moon is filled with challenges that need to be overcome each time it moves. The rover’s maximum visibility range is limited to 5 meters, similar to human eyesight. It can only cover up to 5 meters with each movement command, and obstacles and craters pose additional challenges. Despite these obstacles, the rover has successfully crossed a small crater with a depth of approximately 100mm.
The turnaround time between each rover movement operation is around five hours, taking into account factors such as the rotation of the Sun and the limited availability of telemetry and telecommunications. Each movement of the rover is carefully planned, considering power consumption, data rate limitations, and the need to download science data from the payloads.
Isro has already completed multiple rover movements as of Sunday, showcasing the capabilities of the miniature systems onboard the rover. The team is confident in the work being done and continues to navigate the lunar surface with caution and precision.
★Chandrayaan-3 rover, Pragyan, encountered a 4-meter diameter crater on August 27, causing it to change its path.
★The rover successfully retraced its steps and is now heading on a new path.
★This is the second crater encountered by Pragyan, with the first being a smaller crater with a depth of approximately 100mm.
★Rover operations on the Moon are semi-autonomous, requiring commands from Earth for mobility.
★Each movement of the rover is carefully planned and obstacles are overcome using onboard navigation camera data and digital elevation models.
★The rover has a maximum visibility range of 5 meters and faces challenges such as limited telemetry, telecommunications, and power availability.
★Isro has already completed multiple rover movements, showcasing the capabilities of the miniature systems onboard.
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