India’s third lunar exploration mission, Chandrayaan-3 will leave imprints of India’s State Emblem – an adaptation of Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath – and the ISRO logo on the Moon’s surface. The imprints will be left behind by the rover’s rear wheels, said the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in a video.
Launched on July 14, Chandrayaan-3 is on its 40-day journey towards the Moon. The mission comes after Chandrayaan-2 mission, which failed to soft land on the lunar surface about four years ago in September 2019.
The prime objectives of the new lunar mission are to exhibit end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface. The spacecraft is expected to touch down on the Moon’s south pole region on August 23. It consists of a six-wheeled lander and rover module, configured with payloads to provide data related to the Moon’s surface.
The rear wheels of the rover, named Pragyan, will leave the national imprints on the lunar surface – symbolising its presence and leaving India’s mark behind. Considering the Moon is geologically dead and has no atmospheric processes, the imprints can be expected to last for millions of years. Pragyan will navigate the lunar surface for at least an entire lunar day, which is around 14 days on Earth.