Note on Lander and Rover
India's third unmanned mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-3, successfully entered lunar orbit after a thruster firing maneuver carried out from the Bengaluru-based ISRO Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network (ISTRAC). The propulsion module will undergo a series of orbit reductions until it settles into an orbit 100 km above the lunar surface. On the sixth orbit, the module will release the lander, which carries the rover, to attempt a soft-landing near the Moon's south pole on August 23. The mission's primary goal is to achieve a soft-landing, making India the first country to do so near the lunar south pole and the fourth to land on the Moon. Unlike previous missions, Chandrayaan-3 does not have an orbiter, and its mission will end once the lander and rover conduct on-site experiments for 14 days. The propulsion module will use the payload SHAPE to study Earth's spectro-polarimetric signatures while in orbit-reduction mode before the landing.
Example of Chandrayaan-3 to illustrate the difference between the lander and rover:
Chandrayaan-3 is India's third unmanned mission to the Moon. It consists of both a lander and a rover.
Lander (Example: Vikram Lander): The lander in Chandrayaan-3 is similar to the Vikram lander used in the previous Chandrayaan-2 mission. Its main purpose is to make a controlled landing on the lunar surface. The lander is equipped with landing legs and thrusters to ensure a soft touchdown on the Moon. Once it lands, it serves as the platform for the rover to be deployed and conducts initial scientific experiments using its own instruments. The lander also acts as a communication relay between the rover and Earth, transmitting data collected by the rover back to mission control.
Rover (Example: Pragyan Rover):The rover in Chandrayaan-3 is called Pragyan, similar to the rover deployed in Chandrayaan-2. Once the lander safely lands on the Moon, it releases the Pragyan rover onto the lunar surface. The rover is a mobile robotic vehicle equipped with wheels that allow it to move across the Moon's surface. Pragyan is equipped with various scientific instruments, cameras, and tools to explore the terrain, study the lunar environment, and conduct experiments. It collects valuable data and sends it back to the lander, which, in turn, relays the information to mission control on Earth.
In summary, Chandrayaan-3's lander (Vikram) is responsible for safely landing on the Moon, deploying the rover (Pragyan), and acting as a communication link with mission control. The rover (Pragyan) is a mobile robotic vehicle that explores the lunar surface, performs scientific experiments, and sends data back to the lander for transmission to Earth. Together, the lander and rover work in tandem to achieve India's scientific objectives and exploration goals on the lunar surface