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Business News/ Science / Will Chandrayaan-3 lander and rover wake up today as Sun rises again on Moon
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Will Chandrayaan-3 lander and rover wake up today as Sun rises again on Moon

Chandrayaan-3 mission: ISRO is attempting to reestablish communication with the Chandrayaan-3 lander and rover on the Moon to continue experiments.

A 3-dimensional ‘anaglyph’ image of the Chandrayaan-3 Vikram lander from the south pole of the Moon. Premium
A 3-dimensional ‘anaglyph’ image of the Chandrayaan-3 Vikram lander from the south pole of the Moon.

Chandrayaan-3: With dawn breaking on the Moon, ISRO is now gearing up to try to reestablish communication with its lunar mission Chandrayaan-3's solar-powered lander Vikram and rover Pragyan, to revive them so that they can continue with scientific experiments. 

Both the lander and the rover were put into sleep mode earlier this month on September 4 and 2 respectively, ahead of the lunar night setting in on Earth's only natural satellite. 

Chandrayaan-3 LIVE Updates:

What's next if the lander and rover are revived? 

If the space agency is able to revive them, the information that is derived from experiments that could once again be conducted by the Chandrayaan-3 payloads would be a "bonus". 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.

If things go as per the plan, the rover will start moving after the commands will be fed into the rover. Later, the same procedure will be repeated on the lander module

With sunlight back on the south polar region of the Moon, where both the lander and rover are located, and their solar panels expected to be optimally charged soon, ISRO is now slated to make efforts to establish contact with them again, check their health and ability to resume functioning, and try to revive them.

 "We have put both the lander and rover on sleep mode because temperature would go as low as minus 120-200 degree celsius. From September 20 onwards, sunrise will be going on at the Moon and by September 22 we hope that the solar panel and other things will be fully charged, so we will be trying to revive both the lander and rover, " ISRO's Space Applications Centre Director Nilesh Desai told news agency PTI

After landing on the Moon, both the lander and the rover, and payloads onboard had performed experiments one after the other so as to complete them within 14 Earth days (one lunar day), before pitch darkness and extreme cold weather engulfed the Moon. 

The lander and rover -- with a total mass of 1,752 kg -- were designed to operate for one lunar daylight period (about 14 Earth days) to study the surroundings there. However ISRO is hoping that they will come back to life when the Sun again rises on the Moon, and carry on with the experiments and studies there.

What if they are not revived? 

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! Else, it will forever stay there as India's lunar ambassador," the country's space agency had said in a post on X. 

Meanwhile, the lander touched down near the south pole of the Moon on August 23, successfully completing one of the Chandrayaan-3 mission's main objectives of soft landing on lunar surface. 

Yesterday, Rajnath Singh termed Chandrayaan-3 as a huge achievement for the entire nation and stated that there are many developed countries that, despite being more resource-rich, are trying to reach the Moon, while India has become the first country to reach the South Pole of the Moon with limited resources.

He credited the success to the intellectual prowess and dedication of ISRO scientists towards the development of the nation. India is today among the leading nations in the field of science due to their relentless efforts, said the release.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Updated: 22 Sep 2023, 08:53 AM IST
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