Chandrayaan-3: Chandrayaan-3 learned its steps.. on this ‘soil’..!

-Galla S Kiran Kumar,Bureau Chief Telagana (Andhra Pradesh)

Chandrayaan-3: ISRO conducted multiple ground tests of Chandrayaan-3 lander and rover module to successfully land on the surface of Zabili. At that time, special clay was used to teach them how to walk.


Chennai: Namakkal.. This town is about 400 km away from Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. This name may not be known to the world, but it is a very important area for the Indian Space Research Centre. Namakkal Soil has played a vital role in the experiments undertaken by ISRO for the study of Jabilli. Soil was also collected from here for Chandrayaan-3. Why is that soil so special? How to identify this..?

After the success of Chandrayaan-1 in 2008, ISRO is preparing for another launch on Zabili..! Chandrayaan-1 mission only orbited Zabili. However, the Chandrayaan-2 mission was developed with the aim of soft landing on the surface of the Moon. If the lander module lands on Zabili, the rover is planned to come out and walk on the moon. But how to land a lander on the surface of the moon? How can a rover walk there? ISRO is ready to test it. But, the Earth’s surface is not the same as the Moon’s surface. And then how to test the lander to land there?

ISRO has conducted research for this. Is there anywhere on earth like the soil on the surface of Jabilli? The research started. It was in this sequence that Namakkal soil in Tamil Nadu attracted their attention. For the first time in 2012, ISRO collected 50 tonnes of soil from this area. After conducting many tests, ISRO has confirmed that the soil of Namakkal region has soil-like properties on the surface of the moon, Professor of Geology Department of Periyar University S. Anbalagan said.

In the Chandrayaan-2 mission launched in 2019, the lander and rover’s wet feet were tested with Namakkal soil. Now the same has been used in the latest Chandrayaan-3 launch. On this, Anbalagan said, “While we were doing underground research, we came to know that the soil in some parts of Tamil Nadu is like the soil on the surface of the moon. It is particularly similar to the soil at the South Pole. Anorthosite type of soil is present on the Jabilli surface. This type of soil is found in abundance in Sithampundi and Kunnamalai villages around Namakkal,” he said. He said that they will also send soil from here for the future experiments undertaken by ISRO