After the Chandrayaan-3’s rover Pragyan, the lander Vikram has been put into sleep mode. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday said that it had put Vikram into sleep mode around 8 a.m.
“Vikram Lander is set into sleep mode around 08:00 Hrs. IST today. Prior to that, in-situ experiments by ChaSTE, RAMBHA-LP and ILSA payloads are performed at the new location. The data collected is received at the Earth. Payloads are now switched off. Lander receivers are kept on,” the ISRO said.
On September 2, the space organisation said that Pragyan had completed its assignments and it had been safely parked and set into sleep mode. Pragyan’s receiver had been kept on.
The ISRO added that Vikram would fall asleep next to Pragyan once the solar power was depleted and the battery was drained. The ISRO is hoping that it would wake up both Vikram and Pragyan on September 22. “Hoping for their awakening, around September 22, 2023,” it said on Monday.
While announcing that Pragyan would go to sleep mode, the ISRO had posted on X (formerly Twitter): “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 lander and the rover, with a mission life of one lunar day (14 earth days), have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface. Since its landing on the moon on August 23, they have carried out many in-situ measurements and taken pictures.
“The lander and the rover will stay on the moon for 14 days until they get sunlight. When there is no sunlight, a small solar panel, which is on the rover, will generate power to charge the battery for the next 14 days until they get sunlight,” ISRO chairman S. Somanath had said earlier.
Once the sun sets on the moon, temperature can plunge below minus 200°C.
“The temperature there goes down to -200 minus degrees. In such an environment, there is no guarantee that the battery, electronics will survive, but we did some tests and we get the feeling that they will survive even in such harsh conditions,” Mr. Somanath had said.