After a 41-day journey, Chandrayaan-3 is expected to land on the South Pole of the lunar surface at 6.04 am on 23 August 2023.

If successful, India will become the only country on Earth to reach the South Pole of the Moon.

Although a historic moment for India and the space agency, the real task for ISRO scientists will start after the landing. So what happens after the landing?

Once it reaches the lunar surface, one side panel of the Vikram lander will unfold and a ramp for the Pragyaan rover will come out.

After four hours of landing, the rover will descend from the lander’s belly and scan the lunar surface with navigation cameras.

As Pragyan will roll, it will leave imprints of the national flag and ISRO logo on the lunar surface.

The rover is expected to provide data on the composition of the Moon’s atmosphere and send that data to the lander, which will communicate with ISRO.

The lander is expected to measure lunar seismicity and thermal properties of the Moon near the South Pole, as well as check the properties of near-surface plasma (ions and electrons) density.

To complete the research, ISRO will analyse rover operations for one lunar day, which is equal to 14 Earth days.

“The reason why we are going to the South Pole is we want to explore the unexplored. We have received images of dark (permanently shadowed) craters on the Moon, which hint that it could possess water,” Space Minister Jitendra Singh told TOI.

“If Chandrayaan-3 finds more evidence of water, which consists of hydrogen and oxygen, then it opens up a lot of scientific opportunities. If hydrogen could be tapped from water, it could be a rich source of clean energy,” he adds.