Chandrayaan-3 mission: Why Pragyan Rover, Vikram Lander failed to leave imprint on lunar soil

Soil experiments being carried out by Chandrayaan-3 mission through the Pragyan Rover and Vikram Lander on the Moon can help in the potential discovery of water and eventually human habitation there.

| Updated on: Sep 24 2023, 11:54 IST
Vikram lander, Pragyan rover batteries fully charged! ISRO to give Chandrayaan-3 mission booster shot
1/5 Vikram lander and Pragyan rover have been in sleep mode for 14 days. Today is the day when ISRO will try to wake them up. It is a scary moment as they are not expected to wake up as the lunar cold and darkness may have killed them both. (ISRO)
2/5 ISRO scientists are now waiting for optimum sunrise so the temperature on the Moon rises. Once the weather is in the right condition, it will be time to activate and re-establish communication with the lander and the rover.  (ISRO)
3/5 Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that the Chandrayaan-3 mission will be starting its phase 2 in a few hours and he added, “When we sleep on Earth tonight, Vikram and Pragyan will perhaps wake up on the moon.” (ISRO)
4/5 Over the course of 14 days, the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover have contributed to various exceptional discoveries such as measuring the temperature of the lunar soil, finding th presence of sulphur and other elements, moonquake, and more.  (ISRO)
5/5 Now the whole country is waiting for the next chapter of the Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission with the awakening of Vikram lander and Pragyan. There are low chances of the mission to course, however, scientists have hopes that they will be able to make them operational again.  (ISRO)
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According to the ISRO Chairman, the lunar soil is not really dusty, it’s quite lumpy as indicated by the Chandrayaan-3 mission through Vikram Lander and PRagyaan Rover. (ANI)

While ISRO is still working on reviving the Chandrayaan-3 mission in the form of Pragyan Rover and Vikram Lander, scientists have kept their research on regarding the mission through the huge amount of data sent from there. As far as the mission's objectives are concerned, Chandrayaan-3 has already accomplished its major tasks. Now, ISRO is looking to add to that by reviving Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover, both of which are sleeping on the Lunar surface. They are hoping against hope that both will come back to life soon.

In the meanwhile, the focus of ISRO is on the Moon soil as it can reveal various possibilities that can be of use in the future for potential human presence on the lunar landscape.

Soil on Moon's surface

A new revelation has been made by the ISRO's chairman S Somanath. According to a report by the Times of India, Somnath said, “The Lunar soil is not acting dusty but it's lumpy.” Why is that important? As we know, the rear wheels of the Pragyan rover are carved with the Indian National Emblem and the ISRO logo. But, the rover was unable to leave any clear stamp of these two on the lunar soil. That is good news according to scientists. Somanath further added that there is something there that is binding the soil and we need to find out what exactly it is.

Soil in the south pole region of the Moon can help in the potential discovery of water and eventually human habitation on the lunar surface.

Pragyan Rover, Vikram Lander: Fate hangs in balance

Notably, ISRO is trying to communicate with the Pragyan rover and Vikram lander, which are sleeping on the moon. However, no signal has been received from them so far despite the fact that sunshine has returned to the spot they are parked and it should have replenished their batteries to full charge. These major parts of the Chandrayaan-3 mission were put on sleep mode in early September because of long lunar nights on the Moon, which means there was no sunlight on the moon for 14 days. It is known that both Pragyan and Vikram are solar-powered and can only be charged with the help of sunlight.

Now, the lunar night is over on the Moon, but ISRO has not received any signal from them. As told by the director of SAC Nilesh Desai, that the 'revival' of the lander and the rover is "automatic" and cannot be nudged from the Earth.

Chandrayaan-3 has already accomplished its major objectives, however, it will be very helpful for further research if Pragyan and Vikram can wake up. The process of communicating with them is still underway and ISRO is hopeful that they may wake up soon.

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First Published Date: 24 Sep, 11:53 IST