ISRO prepares to wake up Chandrayaan 3’s Lander and Rover at lunar sunrise.

JNS: In a remarkable endeavour, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to reawaken the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s lander and rover modules, affectionately named Vikram and Pragyan, as the lunar sunrise looms on the horizon.

Vikram and Pragyan were strategically placed in sleep mode after a rigorous 14-day period following the lunar sunset. As the Moon prepares to usher in a new day, these modules will harness the power of the sun’s rays to rejuvenate their dormant systems. All eyes are set on the coveted Shiv Shakti point on the Moon, where these two invaluable payloads currently lie dormant, nestled near the South Pole of our celestial neighbour.

With the advent of the lunar dawn, ISRO’s ground stations are poised to launch revival attempts, capitalizing on the optimal sunshine available. According to ISRO, the much-anticipated awakening of the lander and rover is anticipated to occur on or around September 22. The meticulous preparations for this revival mission are scheduled to commence shortly, capitalizing on the availability of maximum sunlight, as indicated on the ISRO website.

ISRO scientists acknowledge that the prospects of reviving Vikram and Pragyan may be somewhat uncertain, but they remain cautiously optimistic. There is a possibility that these modules might awaken with limited functionality. Notably, both Vikram and Pragyan relied on solar power and possessed a mission life of just one lunar day, equivalent to approximately 14 Earth days. Unfortunately, their electronic components were not engineered to withstand the extreme frigidity of lunar nights, where temperatures plummet to a bone-chilling -200 degrees Celsius at the Shiv Shakti point on the Moon’s southern pole.

During their previous operational stint in August, the Lander and Rover delivered invaluable scientific data and observations to the ground stations. This data confirmed the presence of essential elements like sulphur and various minerals.

Furthermore, the Lander module executed a successful hop experiment, demonstrating its ability to leap 40 cm above the lunar surface and land safely just a short distance away from its initial position.

This significant achievement showcased ISRO’s competence in igniting the lander’s engines and generating thrust, setting the stage for the potential return of these modules to Earth after collecting precious lunar samples in the days ahead.

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