Lunar night looms over Shiv Shakti Point; Will Chandrayaan-3's Pragyan Rover, Vikram Lander wake up?

ISRO's efforts to revive Chandrayaan-3 mission by waking up Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover are not meeting with success and hope is now fading as the chilly lunar night is approaching the Shiv Shakti Point.

| Updated on: Sep 29 2023, 16:59 IST
Chandrayaan-3 Mission
Chandrayaan-3 Mission: ISRO tweets, 'Pragyan rover roams around Shiv Shakti Point in pursuit of lunar secrets at the South Pole'. (ISRO twitter)
Chandrayaan-3 Mission
Chandrayaan-3 Mission: ISRO tweets, 'Pragyan rover roams around Shiv Shakti Point in pursuit of lunar secrets at the South Pole'. (ISRO twitter)

In a big setback for ISRO, hope is fading fast for the revival of Chandrayaan-3 mission. While the mission has achieved all initial objectives, including landing on the Moon, it was hoped that through Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover, it would be able to carry on further experiments on the lunar soil. However, Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover have been dormant from the first week of September when they were put into the sleep mode just before the lunar night came along. Since then, efforts to re-establish communication have yielded no results despite the return of sunlight to the Shiv Shakti Point. With the lunar night commencing on September 30, chances of revival have grown even slimmer.

The lunar night, spanning approximately 14 Earth days, brings extreme cold and total darkness to the moon's surface, with temperatures plummeting to around -200 degrees Celsius, that is too harsh for Vikram lander and Pragyan Rover to function. That is why they were put into sleep mode to protect their electrical components. The lunar night poses a significant challenge for Vikram and Pragyan, both of which are reliant on sunlight. However, with every passing day, the hope that these crafts will survive, are declining.

Previously, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) expressed optimism about the spacecraft's survival, but as the next lunar night approaches, those hopes are waning fast.

ISRO took to X (Formerly Twitter) to express hope about the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, “Chandrayaan-3 Mission: Efforts have been made to establish communication with the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover to ascertain their wake-up condition. As of now, no signals have been received from them. Efforts to establish contact will continue.”

Chandrayaan-3's soft landing on the Moon on August 23 marked India's bold venture into lunar exploration, celebrated as a remarkable achievement for the nation's space program.

As the world awaits a sign of life from the dormant spacecraft, the mission has already contributed valuable lunar surface data. Payloads like APXS and LIBS have collected a huge amount of data and confirmed the presence of sulfur, enhancing our understanding of the Moon.

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First Published Date: 29 Sep, 16:59 IST