Chandrayaan-3: What happens next if ISRO's Vikram lander, Pragyan rover don't wake up? Explained
Chandrayaan-3 update: ISRO continues efforts to revive Chandrayaan-3's Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, with hopes of extending the mission.
Chandrayaan-3 update: All eyes on Chandrayaan-3 today as ISRO to attempt at reactivating Vikram lander and Pragyan rover today. Yesterday, ISRO shared an update saying that it made efforts to establish communication with the lander and rover to ascertain their wake-up condition, but no signals were received from them. However, the space agency added that it would continue efforts to establish contact.
As the Sun rises on the Moon for next fifteen days, ISRO scientists are working day and night to revive the Chandrayaan-3's Vikram lander and Pragyan rover after a 15-day-long slumber. This will help in boosting the chances of extension over and above what has already been an entirely successfully complete mission. Yesterday, Former ISRO scientist Tapan Mishra said that even if the rover fails to revive and the lander works, it will be a miracle. While speaking to ANI, he said, “Originally the Chandrayaan lander rover was designed for only 14 days of operation. It is expected that the temperature will go down to -140 degrees Celsius or lower, in the Southern pole it can reach down to -200 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, no plastic material, no carbon power material or no electronics can survive. They will crack. But I'm hopeful that ISRO must have done a lot of thermal management thing."
Mishra further asserted that if it survives one night then it will survive many more lunar nights. “And if it happens, then we will be in a league that can operate the lunar lander, rover, even throughout the year. If it survives one lunar night, I'm sure it will survive many more lunar nights and it may probably operate from 6 months to one year. That will be a great thing," he said
What happens next if Vikram Lander and Pragyan rover didn't wake up?
After putting the rover into sleep mode, ISRO had said, “The rover completed its assignments. It is now safely parked and set into sleep mode. APXS and LIBS payloads are turned off... Currently, the battery is fully charged. The solar panel is oriented to receive the light at the next sunrise expected on September 22, 2023. The receiver is kept on. Hoping for a successful awakening for another set of assignments!" The space agency had also added that if they do not wake up, “it will forever stay there as India's lunar ambassador."
What's next if the lander and rover wake up?
If ISRO is able to revive the lander and the rover, the information that is derived from experiments that could once again be conducted by the Chandrayaan-3 payloads would be a "bonus". Former ISRO scientist Tapan Mishra said that confirming the presence of water would be the next important thing.
“There was a lesser induced spectroscopy instrument. It has shown us all the expected metals there. It has also shown us the presence of oxygen there, but we are looking for water. The oxygen can come from the breaking of any other silicon material which is actually the basis of all the rocks anywhere in the universe, also it can come from the breaking up of water. But if we could detect hydrogen there, detecting the presence of hydrogen would conclusively prove that there is water because hydrogen is never part of any other compound. So in that case we will be able to conclusively prove that there is water there. We have remote sensing-wise shown the presence of water. Now physically also we will able to show," he had told ANI.
Major challenge for Vikram and Pragyan?
The major challenge for ‘Vikram and Pragyan’ would be to come back in action after surviving the chilling -200 degree Celsius of temperature. If the onboard instruments survive the low temperature on the Moon, the modules can come back to life and continue their mission to send information from the moon for next fourteen days.
(With inputs from agencies)
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