|Mission type||Lunar rover|
|Mission duration||≤ 14 days (intended); |
Achieved: 0 days (landing failure)
|Landing mass||27 kg (60 lb)|
|Dimensions||0.9 m (3.0 ft) × 0.75 m (2.5 ft) × 0.85 m (2.8 ft)|
|Power||50 W from solar panels|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||22 July 2019IST, (09:13:12 UTC)14:43:12|
|Rocket||GSLV Mk III M1|
|Launch site||SDSC Second launch pad|
|Deployed from||Chandrayaan-2/Vikram lander|
|Deployment date||Intended: 7 September 2019|
Result: Never deployed from destroyed lander.
|Landing date||6 September 2019, 20:00-21:00 UTC|
|Landing site||Attempted: 70.90267°S 22.78110°E  (Intended) |
Crash landing at least 500m away from planned site. (Actual)
|Distance driven||500 m (1,600 ft) (intended)|
Pragyan (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञान, romanized: prajñana, lit. 'wisdom' Pronunciation (help·info)) was the rover of Chandrayaan-2, a lunar mission developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), that launched in July 2019. Pragyan was destroyed along with its lander, Vikram, when it crash-landed on the Moon in September 2019 and never got the chance to deploy.
The rover's mass was about 27 kg (60 lb) and was designed to operate on solar power. The rover was to move on 6 wheels traversing 500 meters on the lunar surface at the rate of 1 cm per second, performing on-site analysis and sending the data to the Vikram lander, which would have relayed it to the Earth station. For navigation, the rover was equipped with:
- Stereoscopic camera-based 3D vision: two 1 megapixel, monochromatic NAVCAMs in front of the rover to provide the ground control team a 3D view of the surrounding terrain, and help in path-planning by generating a digital elevation model of the terrain. IIT Kanpur contributed to the development of the subsystems for light-based map generation and motion planning for the rover.
- Control and motor dynamics: the rover design has a rocker-bogie suspension system and six wheels, each driven by independent brushless DC electric motors. Steering is accomplished by differential speed of the wheels or skid steering.
The expected operating time of Pragyan rover was one lunar day or around 14 Earth days, as its electronics were not designed to endure the frigid lunar night. Its power system had a solar-powered sleep/wake-up cycle implemented, which could have resulted in longer service time than planned.
- Dimensions: 0.9 × 0.75 × 0.85 m
- Power: 50 W
- Travel speed: 1 cm/sec.
- Planned mission duration: ≤14 days (one lunar day)
Planned landing site
|Prime landing site|
|Alternate landing site|
Two landing sites were selected, each with a landing ellipse of 32 km x 11 km. The prime landing site (PLS54) was at 70.90267 S 22.78110 E (~350 km north of the South Pole-Aitken Basin rim), and the alternate landing site (ALS01) was at 67.874064 S 18.46947 W. The prime site was on a high plain between the craters Manzinus C and Simpelius N, on the near side of the Moon. The criteria used to select the landing zones were: south polar region, on the near side, slope less than 15 degrees, boulders less than 50 cm (20 in), crater and boulder distribution, sunlit for at least 14 days, nearby ridges do not shadow the site for long durations.
The planned landing site and its alternate site, are located within the polar LQ30 quadrangle. The surface likely consists of impact melt, possibly mantled by ejecta from the massive South Pole–Aitken basin and mixing by subsequent nearby impacts. The nature of the melt is mostly mafic, meaning it is rich in silicate mineral, magnesium and iron. The region could also offer scientifically valuable rocks from the lunar mantle if the basin impactor excavated all the way through the crust.
The Vikram lander, carrying the Pragyan rover, separated from the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter on 7 September 2019 and was scheduled to land on the Moon at around 1:50 a.m. IST. The initial descent was considered within mission parameters, passing critical braking procedures as planned. The descent and soft-landing was to be done by the on-board computers on Vikram, with mission control unable to make corrections.
The lander's trajectory began to deviate at about 2.1 kilometres (1.3 mi; 6,900 ft) above the surface. The final telemetry readings during ISRO's live-stream show that Vikram's final vertical velocity was 58 m/s (210 km/h) from 330 meters above the surface which, according to the MIT Technology Review, is "quite fast for a lunar landing." Initial reports suggesting a crash, have been confirmed by ISRO chairman K. Sivan, stating that the lander location had been found, and "it must had been a hard landing". The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter took images of the crash site, showing that the lander and the Pragyan rover inside the lander had been destroyed by the impact, creating an impact site and debris field spanning kilometres.
The orbiter part of the mission, with eight scientific instruments, remains operational and will continue its seven-year mission to study the Moon.
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Chandrayaan 2's Rover is a 6-wheeled robotic vehicle named Pragyan, which translates to 'wisdom' in Sanskrit.
- Wilson, Horace Hayman (1832). A dictionary in Sanscrit and English. Calcutta: Education Press. p. 561.
- Elumalai, V.; Kharge, Mallikarjun (7 Feb 2019). "Chandrayaan - II" (PDF). PIB.nic.in. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 7 Feb 2019.
Lander (Vikram) is undergoing final integration tests. Rover (Pragyan) has completed all tests and waiting for the Vikram readiness to undergo further tests.
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Mobility of the Rover in the unknown lunar terrain is accomplished by a Rocker bogie suspension system driven by six wheels. Brushless DC motors are used to drive the wheels to move along the desired path and steering is accomplished by differential speed of the wheels. The wheels are designed after extensive modelling of the wheel-soil interaction, considering the lunar soil properties, sinkage and slippage results from a single wheel test bed. The Rover mobility has been tested in the Lunar test facility wherein the soil simulant, terrain and the gravity of moon are simulated. The limitations w.r.t slope, obstacles, pits in view of slippage/sinkage have been experimentally verified with the analysis results.Alt URL
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