The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has achieved a major milestone with the successful execution of a “hop experiment” on the lunar surface by the Vikram Lander, part of the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
The hop experiment saw the Vikram Lander fire its engines on command, elevating itself by approximately 40 cm and safely landing at a distance of 30-40 cm away. This achievement surpasses the mission objectives and sets the stage for future sample return and human missions to the moon.
🇮🇳Vikram soft-landed on 🌖, again!
Vikram Lander exceeded its mission objectives. It successfully underwent a hop experiment.
On command, it fired the engines, elevated itself by about 40 cm as expected and landed safely at a distance of 30 – 40 cm away.… pic.twitter.com/T63t3MVUvI
— ISRO (@isro) September 4, 2023
The Chandrayaan-3 mission also includes the Pragyan rover, which entered “Sleep mode” last week but remains prepared for further assignments with charged batteries and an active receiver. ISRO expresses optimism for a successful awakening, emphasizing the rover’s role as India’s lunar ambassador.
India’s space program has been gaining recognition for achieving significant milestones at a fraction of the cost compared to other space agencies. Notably, ISRO recently launched its first successful Sun mission, Aditya-L1, aimed at understanding coronal heating and solar wind acceleration.
Looking ahead, ISRO has ambitious plans, including a three-day crewed mission into Earth’s orbit scheduled for next year. Additionally, they are collaborating with Japan on a moon probe mission set for 2025 and planning an orbital mission to Venus within the next two years.