New Delhi: India’s space agency ISRO has been actively working to re-establish communication with rover Pragyan and lander Vikram, stationed near the south polar region of the moon, in order to determine their current status. The rover and the lander entered sleep mode and were securely positioned on September 2 when the lunar night began. A single day on the Moon equals 14 days on Earth.
ISRO provided an update on the Chandrayaan-3 Mission, stating, “No signals have been received from them. Efforts to establish contact will continue.”
Lunar Night Initially, ISRO had planned to re-establish communication today. The lander and the rover were placed in sleep mode on September 4 and 2, respectively.
According to mission directives, as daylight returns to the south-polar region of the Moon, the solar panels on the lander and the rover are expected to recharge optimally. ISRO will then attempt to revive them and assess their operational condition.
“We have placed the lander and rover in sleep mode because temperatures can plummet as low as minus 120-200 degrees Celsius. Starting from September 20, the Moon will experience sunrise, and by September 22, we anticipate the solar panels and other systems will be fully charged. We will then make efforts to revive both the lander and rover,” explained ISRO’s Space Applications Centre Director Nilesh Desai in a previous statement to PTI.
‘Shiv Shakti Point’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi previously declared that the landing site of the lander Vikram would be known as ‘Shiv Shakti Point.’ The Prime Minister made this announcement during his meeting with ISRO scientists in Bengaluru to congratulate them on the mission’s success.
Additionally, the location on the Moon where Chandrayaan-2 crash-landed in 2019 has been named ‘Tiranga Point.’
Another Landing Before entering sleep mode, lander Vikram made a successful touchdown on the moon’s surface once more. Its engines were reignited, lifting it by about 40 cm and enabling it to hop approximately 30-40 cm.
“Vikram Lander has surpassed Chandrayaan-3 mission objectives and successfully completed a hop experiment. Upon command, it fired its engines, ascended as anticipated by about 40 cm, and safely landed around 30 – 40 cm away.”
After the historic landing, both the Lander (Vikram) and the rover (Pragyan) carried out various tasks on the lunar surface, including detecting the presence of sulfur and recording temperature variations.