India’s historic lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, which aims to land on the Moon and explore its South Pole, is currently in a critical phase. Today, a decision will be made on whether the mission will continue or be deemed unsuccessful. The fate of the mission rests on the Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover. In early September, both were put into a dormant state as the lunar night arrived, preventing them from charging their batteries. Originally planned for a 14-day duration, the mission can now be revived as sunlight has returned to the Moon’s South Pole region. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will attempt to reactivate the lander and rover, although this task may prove challenging. Nevertheless, India remains hopeful for a successful outcome.
According to an Indian Express report, an ISRO official stated that the ground station will try to connect with the lander and rover modules and onboard instruments on Thursday, September 21 or Friday, September 22. dates were selected based on optimal sunlight availability. However, it is also said that the chances of reviving the operation are very low. Yes, it would take a miracle to wake up both Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover.
ISRO is trying to revive the Chandrayaan-3 mission
Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover have slept for 14 days now. This means that the modules have had no power during this time. The extremely low temperature in the south polar region of the Moon without sunlight, which drops to almost -200 degrees Celsius, it is possible for the circuits to be damaged or the battery to lose the ability to restart the components.
But the hopes are still there. After the main scientific goals were achieved, ISRO put the modules to rest. This was a strategic decision as it was made before the moon set. The goal was to ensure that the batteries would have been fully charged by then and would keep the instruments warm enough to withstand the cold night.
The moment of truth is coming soon, and the attempt to restart the Chandrayaan-3 mission is expected to happen either later today or tomorrow. If the Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover can be awakened, they can operate for the second lunar day, which is a 14-day period. During this time, the rover and the lander can send more data that enriches the already recorded observations.