The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is looking to awaken the Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover as dawn will be breaking on the moon on September 22.
The lander and the rover went to sleep after the end of one lunar day (14 earth days).
On September 2, the Pragyan was put in sleep mode and two days later on September 4, the space agency put Vikram too in sleep mode with its payloads switched off. Both the Vikram’s and Pragyan’s receivers however have been kept on.
Now, on September 22, with sunlight back on the moon, ISRO is hoping that their solar panel would get charged and that it could establish contact with the two.
Once the sun sets on the moon after the completion of one lunar day, temperature could plunge below minus 200°C.
“The temperature there goes down to -200 degrees [Celcius]. 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. Somnath had said earlier.
Since their landing on the moon on August 23, Vikram and Pragyan have carried out many in-situ measurements like confirmation of the presence of Sulphur in the region, and detecting the presence of minor elements, among others.
Vikram also achieved a significant milestone as it successfully undertook a hop experiment when the lander on command fired the engines, elevated itself by about 40 cm, and landed safely at a distance of 30–40 cm away.
This successful hop experiment and kickstart could have significant bearing on the future missions which are launched with an objective to bring back samples from the moon and also future human missions to the moon.
If ISRO manages to wake up Vikram and Pragyan it would be a bonus for the space agency as it would be hoping to carry out some more experiments on the moon.
The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft was launched on July 14 and touched down on the lunar surface on August 23, making India the fourth country to successfully land on the moon, and the first nation to touch down on the polar region of the moon.