Indian Moon Rover and Lander Yet to Wake Up as Lunar Day Dawns
As the lunar day began on September 22, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) reported that the lunar rover “Pragyan” and the lander “Vikram” have not yet communicated. This outcome was expected, as the rover and lander were not equipped to survive the extreme cold of up to -250°C that prevails at the Moon’s south pole. Nevertheless, Indian scientists maintain hope for a positive outcome.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission stands as a major success for India’s space program, achieving what no Earthly spacecraft had done before—landing near the Moon’s south pole. On August 23 of this year, the Vikram lander successfully touched down on the lunar surface and deployed the small rover Pragyan.
Both the lander and rover were designed for a mission duration of one lunar day, which equates to 14 Earth days. During this time, they fulfilled their mission objectives and collected valuable data about the landing site.
With the onset of lunar night, the equipment transitioned into a dormant mode. Neither the batteries nor the instruments were designed to withstand the rapid temperature drop for two weeks. However, previous lunar missions by China demonstrated that descent vehicles could endure lunar nights lasting 14 Earth days or more. This has led Indian specialists to maintain hope of reestablishing contact with the lander and rover, as they can now once again draw power from their solar panels.
- I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.
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