Chandrayaan-3: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a mission update Thursday that all activities of Chandrayaan-3 are on schedule, and that all systems are normal. On August 24, 2023, a day after Chandrayaan-3’s historic landing, most of Vikram lander’s payloads were turned on. The rover mobility operations have also begun. The SHAPE payload on the propulsion module was turned ‘ON’ on August 20.
The lander’s payloads which have been turned on are Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE), Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA, and Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA). SHAPE, which stands for
Spectro-polimetry of HAbitable Planet Earth (SHAPE), aims to study the spectral and polarimetric measurements of Earth from lunar orbit. This means that SHAPE will analyse the spectro-polarimetric signatures of Earth.
All activities are on schedule.
All systems are normal.
🔸Lander Module payloads ILSA, RAMBHA and ChaSTE are turned ON today.
🔸Rover mobility operations have commenced.
🔸SHAPE payload on the Propulsion Module was turned ON on Sunday.
— ISRO (@isro) August 24, 2023
According to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Observatory, spectro-polarimetry is a technique which involves the polarisation of light by splitting the incoming light into its constituent colours, and then analysing the polarisation of each colour individually.
Understanding the spectro-polarimetric signatures of Earth can help scientists analyse the reflected light from exoplanets and determine whether they would qualify for habitability.
In other words, SHAPE will search for signatures from exoplanets in order to see if they are habitable.
The function of ChasTE is to conduct measurements of thermal properties such as the temperature and thermal conductivity of elements on the lunar surface near the south pole. ILSA is meant to measure seismic activity around the landing site. RAMBHA will study the plasma environment around the Moon.
The rover’s payloads are called Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS), and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS).
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