Chandrayaan-3 mission: ISRO set to resurrect Vikram Lander, Pragyan Rover as India eyes TRIUMPH

ISRO has reported that attempts would be made to restart the Chandrayaan-3 once the lunar night is over on the Moon and Sunlight returns. Waking Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover from sleep will be a big ISRO triumph.

| Updated on: Sep 21 2023, 11:02 IST
Chandrayaan-3 Moon mission: 5 facts to know
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1/7 The Chandrayaan-3 mission was launched on July 14 from Sri Harikota, India's main spaceport in  Andhra Pradesh. From the day of its launch, Chandrayaan-3  has looped through progressively wider-ranging orbits of Earth. It then transferred to a lunar orbit and emerged as a focus of national pride. Our Moon mission become a global interest after Russia's Moon mission Luna-25  failed to land on the moon. (PTI)
2/7 The landing of  Chandrayaan-3 is aimed at the lunar south pole. Lunar south pole is a region that may have water ice or frozen water. It can be an abundant source of oxygen, fuel, and water that can be extremely important for future moon missions. (AFP)
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3/7 Chandrayaan-3 will be functional for two weeks if it lands successfully on the lunar surface. It will run various experiments which will include a spectrometer analysis of the mineral composition of the surface of the moon. (via REUTERS)
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4/7 The lander of the Chandrayaan-3 mission is about 2m tall. Its mass is said to be about  1,700 kg (3,747.86 lb) which can deploy a small 26 Kg lunar rover. (HT_PRINT)
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5/7 For the smooth landing of the  Chandrayaan-3 on the south pole of the Moon, rough terrain can be a great hurdle. However, adjustments have been made by ISRO scientists that will help Chandrayaan-3 to stick its landing. (ISRO)
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6/7 The adjustments include a system to broaden the potential landing zone and the lander has been equipped with more fuel and sturdier legs to be more effective. (REUTERS)
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7/7 If this mission becomes successful, it would make India the fourth country to successfully land on the moon, after the former USSR, the United States, and China, and India will be able to mark its emergence as a strong space power. ISRO will telecast the planned Chandrayaan-3  landing starting from 1720 IST (1150 GMT) on August 23, 2023. (ISRO twitter)
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Know whether the Chandrayaan-3 mission can begin again as ISRO prepares to establish contact with Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover. (ANI)

Chandrayaan-3, India's first-ever lunar mission to successfully land on the Moon, and the world's first mission to explore the South Pole there, is now at a very delicate stage and today it will be decided whether the mission stays alive or is declared dead. It all hinges on Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover. In early September, both of them were put to sleep after 14 days of investigation when the lunar night set in. This was done because the original mission was planned to be run for a duration of 14 days, and due to the lunar night arriving, the lander and the rover would not get sunlight to charge their batteries. But now, after another 14 days, sunlight is finally beginning to hit the Moon's South Pole region. As per reports, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will now make attempts to restart the mission and bring Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover back to life. However, it can be trickier than it seems, but India is hoping against hope that this miracle happens.

According to a report by the Indian Express, an ISRO official stated that the ground station will try to establish a connection with the lander and the rover modules, as well as the onboard instruments on Thursday, September 21, or Friday, September 22. The dates were picked on the basis of the availability of optimum sunlight. However, it is also said that the chances of the revival of the mission are very low. Yes, a miracle would be required to awaken both Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover.

ISRO to attempt to resurrect Chandrayaan-3 mission

Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover have been asleep for 14 days now. This means the modules have not had any power in this period. With extremely low temperatures in the South Pole region of the Moon during the no sunlight period, which drops to nearly -200 degrees Celsius, there is a possibility of the circuitry suffering damage or the battery losing its ability to restart the components.

But hopes are still there. Once the major scientific objectives were completed, ISRO put the modules in sleep mode. This was a strategic decision as it was done before the lunar sunset. The aim behind it was to ensure that the batteries would be fully charged by then, and they would keep the instruments warm enough to survive the cold night.

The moment of truth is arriving soon, with the attempt to restart the Chandrayaan-3 mission expected to take place either later today or tomorrow. If the Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover can be awakened, they can function for another lunar day, which is a 14-day period. In this period, the rover and the lander can send more data that will enrich the already recorded observations.

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First Published Date: 21 Sep, 10:52 IST