Chandrayaan-3 Mission- Dimming Hopes as Lunar Night Sets In: As the night approaches on the moon, hopes for the revival of India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission are dwindling. The spacecraft, which includes the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, has been in sleep mode since September 2nd.
Efforts were underway to reconnect the lander-rover duo with ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) since sunlight returned to the lunar surface at the region known as the ‘Shiv Sankar Point.‘ However, these attempts have not yielded any results so far.
With the onset of the lunar night, which lasts for about 14 Earth days, extreme cold and complete darkness descend upon the Moon’s surface. During this period, temperatures on the Moon’s surface can drop from zero to as low as -180 degrees Celsius, rendering any technical operations nonviable.
This harsh environment particularly poses challenges for Vikram and Pragyan since they rely on solar power for their operations.
ISRO had initially expressed hope that the spacecraft might survive the harsh lunar night and reestablish communication. Still, as the moon gets closer, these hopes are fading.
Efforts have been made to establish communication with the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover to ascertain their wake-up condition.
As of now, no signals have been received from them.
Efforts to establish contact will continue.
— ISRO (@isro) September 22, 2023
Chandrayaan-3, representing India’s ambitious lunar exploration efforts, successfully conducted a soft landing on the Moon on August 23rd. Since then, the mission has faced setbacks. It was designed to last only 14 Earth days, and ISRO was hopeful for a recovery.
As the moon night descends, the world watches anxiously, hoping against hope for signs of life from the dormant spacecraft. Despite diminishing hopes, Chandrayaan-3 has already provided invaluable data about the Moon’s surface. Payloads like APXS have detected the presence of basic elements, while LIBS has confirmed the existence of sulfur. These findings will undoubtedly contribute to our understanding of the Moon and its structure.