Will Vikram Lander, Pragyan Rover perform a miracle on the Moon for ISRO?

Chandrayaan-3 mission has been a resounding success for ISRO. Now, Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover are in sleep mode on the Moon. But will they be able to do a miracle for ISRO? The entire country is rooting for it.

| Updated on: Sep 14 2023, 10:36 IST
Chandrayaan-3: 5 points to know as moon landing date looms large
 ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 mission
1/6 Chandrayaan-3 was launched on  July 14 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota with the help of a GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle. Here are 5 points to know: (PTI)
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2/6 As Chandrayaan-3 moves into its final phase of landing the lander on the moon, former Chief Controller (R&D) of the DRDO Dr Apathukatha Sivathanu Pillai, said that it will be "100% successful". The landing date is likely August 23.  (PTI)
 ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 mission
3/6 Progress is rapid and on schedule and recently, ISRO has even shared videos of the Moon along with Earth captured by the Vikram lander.  (ISRO)
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4/6 The lander reached an orbit with its closest point to the moon (Perilune) at 30 km. The farthest point (the Apolune) will be 100 km. ( REUTERS)
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5/6 . ISRO has revealed that the next deboosting operation for Chandrayaan-3 mission landing on the moon is scheduled for August 20, 2023. (REUTERS)
 ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 mission
6/6 Dr Pillai explained the importance of Chandrayaan-3 to ANI and said, "It will enable the identification of various lunar resources, particularly Helium-3, which holds promise as a future energy source." (ISRO Twitter)
 ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 mission
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The Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover are expected to continue the Moon exploration after they awaken from the sleep mode that ISRO has put them in till September 22. (ISRO)

Chandrayaan-3 Vikram lander made a successful landing on the lunar surface on August 23, 2023. Later the lander and Pragyan rover explored the Moon till the long lunar day lasted. However, scientists are not sure if both the moon lander and rover will be able to work after the dense darkness and extremely cold conditions lift when sunrise finally reaches the region. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) reported that it will be looking to ensure the mission continues.

What will happen to Vikarm lander and Pragyan rover after 14 days of sleep?

With the end of daytime on the Moon's south pole, the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover were put into hibernation or sleep mode so they could stay fully charged for further studies. ISRO through an X post said, “The Rover completed its assignments. It is now safely parked and set into Sleep mode.”

ISRO also added that it will try to activate the lander and rover once the sun rises on Moon's south pole. The Week report quoted the ISRO as saying that the lander and rover will go into hibernation and that its scientists will make an attempt to restart them. The report further added that it would be a "miracle" if Vikram and Pragyan wake from sleep.

It was not possible to continue the studies during the lunar night because the Moon temperature dips lower than -200 degrees Celsius and the equipment is not developed to withstand the harsh weather conditions and the batteries would get depleted. However, if they do not awaken then they will stay on the Moon as “India's lunar ambassador.”

As per reports, it is possible that solar panels equipped in the lander and the rover will be charged after sunrise and it will be able to continue the exploration, however, it is doubtful. According to a Space.com report, space missions should be equipped with radioisotope heater units (RHUs) to survive the severe cold and the Chandrayaan-3 mission does not have any heating mechanism that can protect its functions.

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First Published Date: 14 Sep, 08:58 IST
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