New Pic Of Chandrayaan-3 Lander, Courtesy Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter

07:39PM Sat 9 Sep, 2023

India achieved a monumental milestone as Chandrayaan-3 successfully touched down on the moon's surface on August 23. Now, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has shared an update on X (formerly known as Twitter). 
The space agency unveiled images of Chandrayaan-3 lander, captured by an instrument aboard Chandrayaan-2 on September 6. Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22, 2019, but it failed to make a soft landing on the lunar surface.

This revelation has added another layer of excitement to India's remarkable journey in space exploration. The pictures were clicked by a Dual-frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar (DFSAR) instrument. 

In its tweet, ISRO wrote, “ Chandrayaan-3 Mission: Here is an image of the Chandrayaan-3 Lander taken by the Dual-frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar (DFSAR) instrument onboard the Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter on September 6, 2023.”

Earlier, in a tweet on September 4, ISRO announced that the Vikram lander was placed into sleep mode. Before this, the in-situ experiments conducted by ChaSTE, RAMBHA-LP, and ILSA payloads were successfully carried out at the new location. Vikram is expected to enter a dormant state next to Pragyan once its solar power depletes and the battery runs out. The hopeful anticipation is that they will reawaken around September 22. 

The space agency also shared pictures capturing the moments before and after the hop.

“Vikram Lander is set into sleep mode around 08:00 Hrs. IST today. Prior to that, in-situ experiments by ChaSTE, RAMBHA-LP and ILSA payloads are performed at the new location. The data collected is received at the Earth. Payloads are now switched off. Lander receivers are kept ON. Vikram will fall asleep next to Pragyan once the solar power is depleted and the battery is drained. Hoping for their awakening, around September 22, 2023. Here are the images before and after the hop.”

Before that, the Vikram lander had achieved success in a hop experiment. Responding to commands, the Vikram lander fired up its engines, lifting itself approximately 40 cm into the air as planned. It then gently touched down, landing safely just 30 to 40 cm from its original spot. 

As per ISRO, “Vikram soft-landed on moon, 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. Importance?: This 'kick-start' enthuses future sample return and human missions! All systems performed nominally and are healthy. Deployed Ramp, ChaSTE and ILSA were folded back and redeployed successfully after the experiment.”