Vikram and Pragyan, two Indian moon rovers, have not yet heeded the wake-up call
Vikram and Pragyan, two Indian moon rovers, have not yet heeded the wake-up call

Kerala, India’s Thiruvananthapuram, September 22 : Former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Madhavan Nair said that there is a decent probability that the system would be functioning once again despite the very low temperature on the moon’s surface prior to the second phase of the Chandryaan-3 lunar mission.

Pragyan Rover and Vikram Lander had been sleeping well for over two weeks at this point. It’s almost like attempting to utilise something you just took out of the freezer. Nair told ANI that the temperatures would have exceeded -150 degrees Celsius.


The Vikram lander and Pragyan were placed into the “sleep mode” after doing their assigned responsibilities, and ISRO is getting ready to wake them up so they can confront the sun’s rays. On August 23, the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s Vikram lander made a historic touchdown close to the south pole of the moon.

There is a decent probability that the system will be functioning once again, according to the former ISRO chairman.

“How the batteries, electronics, and mechanism survived at that temperature is definitely a problem. Naturally, sufficient testing have been conducted on the ground to demonstrate that it will function even under these circumstances. However, we must continue to cross our fingers, the former ISRO director remarked.

The sun heat will warm up the equipment and replenish the batteries, he said. There is a decent possibility that the system will resume operating if both of these requirements are completed successfully.

He said that further data will be gathered from the lunar surface if the lander and rover activated properly.

When it comes to operation, Nair stated, “It is quite likely that we will be able to move about for a fair distance over the next 14 days and gather appropriate data, additional data on the surface conditions on the Moon near the South Pole.

Former ISRO scientist Tapan Mishra said that it would still be a miracle if the lander operated even if the rover could not.

“Originally the Chandrayaan lander rover was designed for only 14 days of operation. It is expected that the temperature will go down to -140 degrees Celsius or lower, in the Southern pole it can reach down to -200 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, no plastic material, no carbon power material or no electronics can survive. They will crack. But I’m hopeful that ISRO must have done a lot of thermal management thing,” Mishra told ANI in Kolkata.

He further said, “If they are successful in the thermal management, if ISRO’s design becomes successful, then tomorrow when the lunar daytime starts then all payloads in the lander and the rover may start working. Even if the rover doesn’t work and the lander works, it will really be a miracle.”

Mishra asserted that if it survives one night then it will survive many more lunar nights.

“And if it happens, then we will be in a league that can operate the lunar lander, rover, even throughout the year. If it survives one lunar night, I’m sure it will survive many more lunar nights and it may probably operate from 6 months to one year. That will be a great thing,” he said.

“I’m hoping against hope,” Mishra continued, “that even though ISRO has already determined that the lander rover could work for 13–14 days, when tomorrow when it wakes up then it will be a great credit to ISRO scientists and also if it wakes up tomorrow then it will wake up again the next lunar night and probably it will last much longer.” It will give much more valuable information.”

He also said that confirming the presence of water is the next important thing.

“There was a lesser induced spectroscopy instrument. It has shown us all the expected metals there. It has also shown us the presence of oxygen there, but we are looking for water. The oxygen can come from the breaking of any other silicon material which is actually the basis of all the rocks anywhere in the universe, also it can come from the breaking up of water.

“But if we could detect hydrogen there, detecting the presence of hydrogen would conclusively prove that there is water because hydrogen is never part of any other compound. So in that case we will be able to conclusively prove that there is water there. We have remote sensing-wise shown the presence of water. Now physically also we will able to show,” he added.

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”. (ANI)



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