Reviving Chandrayaan 3’s Vikram Lander and Pragyaan Rover
With the lunar sunrise expected on the Moon, ISRO scientists are working diligently to revive Chandrayaan 3’s Vikram Lander and the Pragyaan rover. These two crucial components of the mission have remained inactive for approximately half a month on the Moon’s Shiv Shakti point, enduring freezing temperatures that reach as low as -200 degrees Celsius.
ISRO officials have clarified their plans to attempt the reactivation of the lander module and the rover on Thursday and Friday, taking advantage of the increased sunlight on the Moon. However, they acknowledge that the possibility of restoring full functionality to the hardware is limited. Nonetheless, they are optimistic about awakening the lander and rover with reduced capabilities.
Both the Vikram Lander and the Pragyaan rover are currently stationed at the Moon’s South Pole, where temperatures can plummet drastically. Initially designed to function for one lunar day, equivalent to 14 Earth days, these modules have been without sunlight for half a month. ISRO’s chairman, S. Somnath, expressed hope for the sun to shine on the Moon’s South Pole so that Chandrayaan 3’s hardware can be revived. He said, “We can only hope to see the equipment back to life on September 22.”
Furthermore, regarding the status of the hardware, they were put into a dormant state as planned when the lunar sunset occurred on September 2. However, the solar-powered batteries were left charged, and the modules were positioned to receive sunlight upon the lunar sunrise.
It is worth noting that India’s Chandrayaan 3 mission achieved remarkable success, with the Vikram Lander executing a soft landing on the far side of the Moon—a feat no other country had accomplished before. This achievement made India the fourth nation, following the US, China, and Russia, to successfully land on the Moon’s surface and the first to land on the Moon’s South Pole.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission started on July 14, launching on the Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM-3) rocket, embarking on a 41-day journey to reach and soft land on the lunar South Pole.
The Challenge of Lunar Survival
The Moon presents a harsh environment for any machinery or equipment. Extreme temperatures, radiation, and the vacuum of space are just a few of the challenges that ISRO’s Chandrayaan 3 mission must contend with. The South Pole, where these components currently reside, is particularly unforgiving.
With temperatures plummeting to -200 degrees Celsius, the Vikram Lander and Pragyaan rover face an incredible test of their resilience. These frigid conditions can wreak havoc on delicate electronics and moving parts, making the revival of these components a daunting task.
Hopes for Limited Functionality
While ISRO acknowledges the limitations of the situation, there is optimism about the potential revival of the lander and rover. The decision to keep the solar-powered batteries charged during the lunar night was a strategic move. If successful, this approach may provide enough power to reactivate critical systems and instruments, albeit with reduced capabilities.
ISRO’s dedication to this mission and its achievements with Chandrayaan 3 thus far serve as a testament to India’s growing prowess in space exploration.
Chandrayaan 3’s Remarkable Journey
Chandrayaan-3’s journey began on July 14, with the successful launch of the Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM-3) rocket. Over the course of 41 days, the spacecraft traveled through space to reach the Moon’s South Pole.
The mission’s most significant achievement was the soft landing of the Vikram Lander on the far side of the Moon. This challenging feat had previously eluded all but a few nations. India’s success marked a historic moment in space exploration.
Joining the Lunar Elite
India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission has solidified its position in the elite group of countries that have successfully landed on the Moon. With the United States, China, and Russia as the only other nations to achieve this feat, India’s achievement is a testament to its dedication to scientific exploration and technological advancement.
As ISRO continues its efforts to revive the Vikram Lander and Pragyaan rover, the world watches with anticipation, hoping for a successful reawakening of these lunar explorers.
The mission to revive Chandrayaan 3’s Vikram Lander and Pragyaan rover on the Moon’s South Pole is a challenging and inspiring endeavor. While the harsh lunar environment poses significant obstacles, ISRO’s determination and innovative strategies offer hope for a successful revival, even if with limited capabilities. India’s achievements in space exploration continue to shine brightly, and the Chandrayaan-3 mission represents another remarkable chapter in its journey to the stars.