ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 did not wake up as hope for Vikram and Pragyan has diminished. technology news


Hopes for ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 are fading as the mission failed to launch after sunrise on the Moon.

You'll need glasses to see this image of Chandrayaan-3 mission in 3DTo view this image from the Chandrayaan-3 mission in 3D, you will need glasses with different colored filters on each eye. (via ISROX.com)

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There seems to be little hope that the Chandrayaan-3 mission of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will wake up again. The space agency was expecting the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover to wake up when their space was filled with sunlight as lunar sunrise occurred on September 22. But that didn’t happen and as each hour passes, the chances of that happening become less and less. ,

After Chandrayaan-3 accomplished its scientific objective, an attempt was made to extend the lifetime of the mission by shutting down all operations of the instruments before lunar sunset and putting them into “sleep mode”. The mission was designed to operate for one lunar day, or about 14 Earth days. The idea was that given enough sunlight the lander and rover could wake up as the Sun rises again near the moon’s south pole where they are.

Vikram and Pragyan’s electronics are not designed to survive the extreme conditions of night on the Moon. During the lunar night, there is complete darkness due to which the solar powered mission does not get electricity. Furthermore, temperatures drop to minus 200 degrees, meaning electronics can become frozen and therefore destroyed.

But ISRO scientists were confident that the spacecraft could survive the extreme conditions and resurface on September 22, The Guardian reports. On that day, the area where the rover and lander are will be bathed in sunlight, giving them a chance to recharge their batteries.

However, the space agency has not been able to contact the mission and “expectations are diminishing.” In reality, there was only a 50-50 chance that the equipment could tolerate the cold temperatures in the first place.

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Former ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar told the BBC that “the chances of reawakening are diminishing with each passing hour.” According to Kumar, many components would not have survived the extreme conditions on the Moon.

Despite not having a wake-up call throughout its lifetime, the Chandrayaan-3 mission remains a resounding success. The primary objective of the mission was to prove India’s capability to soft-land a spacecraft on the Moon. By doing so, India has joined the short list of countries in the world that have ever achieved a soft landing on the Moon. Other members of the list include the United States, the erstwhile Soviet Union, and China.

Furthermore, the Pragyan rover covered a distance of about 100 meters and detected the presence of several elements on the Moon. Most notable is that it gathered evidence of the presence of sulfur, which had never been done before by any other mission.

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First published: 26-09-2023 12:45 IST


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