Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], September 21 (ANI): The Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover of Chandrayaan-3, who are currently in “sleep mode” near the Moon’s South Pole after having completed their set tasks, are expected to awake on Friday (September 22).
“The Chandrayaan-3 landed successfully and it worked for almost 14 days. It was designed to work for 14 days (on the moon). Its life period was only 14 days because the moon’s temperature falls down to (-) 250 degrees during the (lunar) nighttime. So it worked during the sun hours or daytime and during that it had already given all the data (it was supposed to),” said Bhubaneswar-based space scientist Suvendu Patnayak.
Patnayak recently superannuated as the deputy director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Bhubaneswar.
“It is very difficult for few electronic components to work in such a huge range of temperature. So it was expected it would not work after 14 days…But a few scientists are very hopeful that it may work again. So if it works again, it will be a boon for us and we will perform the same experiments again and again,” Patnayak added.
India took a giant leap as the Chandrayaan-3 lander module successfully landed on the moon’s South Pole on August 23, making it the first country to have achieved the historic feat and bringing to an end the disappointment over the crash landing of the Chandrayaan-2, four years ago.
After having landed, the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover performed different sets of tasks on the lunar surface for about 14 days, including finding the presence of sulphur and other minor elements, recording relative temperature, and listening to movements around it. One day on the Moon is equal to 14 days on Earth.
The stated objectives of Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar mission were a safe and soft landing, rover roving on the Moon’s surface, and in-situ scientific experiments.
In early September, the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover were set in “sleep mode”, with ISRO expecting awakening around September 22.
In a development that may fascinate science enthusiasts, the Vikram Lander had also successfully undergone a hop experiment, in which it had likely experimented possibility of relaunching it from the lunar surface. The lander elevated itself by about 40 cm and landed safely at a distance of 30-40 cm away.
Explaining the importance of this event, ISRO had said the ‘kick-start’ would enthuse future sample return and human missions on the moon. (ANI)
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