Chandrayaan-3: Indian Space Agency Continues Efforts to Establish Contact with Moon Lander

India’s space agency, Isro, is currently making efforts to contact its Moon lander and rover as a new lunar day commences. However, as of now, no signals have been received. The lander and rover successfully touched down near the Moon’s south pole in August and spent two weeks gathering valuable data and images before entering a dormant state during the lunar night. Isro had hoped that the batteries would recharge and the modules would reactivate when sunlight returned on September 22. However, it is possible that the extreme cold temperatures of the lunar night may have damaged the batteries.

Isro announced on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday that they will continue their efforts to establish communication with the Vikram lander and Pragyaan rover. This mission, known as Chandrayaan-3, made history for India by becoming the first country to successfully land a spacecraft near the lunar south pole. India now joins an exclusive club of nations, including the US, former Soviet Union, and China, that have achieved a soft landing on the Moon.

The landing was strategically planned to align with the beginning of a lunar day, providing Vikram and Pragyaan with two weeks of sunlight to conduct their operations. However, a lunar day is equivalent to a little over four weeks on Earth, with each day and night lasting approximately 14 days. Despite completing all their tasks before entering sleep mode, there is no guarantee that the lander and rover will reactivate as night temperatures near the lunar south pole can reach as low as -250°C (-418°F).

While Isro remains hopeful, citing the example of China’s Chang’e4 lander and Yutu2 rover waking up with the sunrise, former Isro chief AS Kiran Kumar has cautioned that reawakening is not guaranteed due to the extreme temperatures. The batteries were not designed to sustain or be stored at such frigid conditions. Isro has set realistic expectations, stating that if Vikram and Pragyaan do not reactivate, they will continue their mission on the Moon as India’s lunar representatives.

Isro’s updates on the mission’s progress and findings have been continuously shared, along with images captured by the lander and rover. While uncertainty surrounds the current situation, the scientific community eagerly awaits further developments and discoveries from Chandrayaan-3. India’s space exploration endeavors have reached new heights, and this mission highlights their significant contributions to lunar exploration and research.

In conclusion, Isro’s ongoing efforts to establish contact with the Vikram lander and Pragyaan rover demonstrate the dedication and perseverance of India’s space agency in advancing lunar exploration. Despite the challenges posed by the extreme lunar environment, Isro’s achievements with Chandrayaan-3 have made a lasting impact on the global space community, positioning India as a key player in space exploration and research.