Isro continues efforts to establish contact with Chandrayaan-3 | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Isro continues efforts to establish contact with Chandrayaan-3

Sep 23, 2023 12:38 AM IST

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists are continuing their efforts to re-establish communication with the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover of the Chandrayaan-3 mission. Despite not receiving any signals so far, ISRO is persisting in its attempts to revive the lander and rover. The revival attempt aims to extend the mission's objectives and collect more data. The batteries on the equipment were left charged before being put to sleep, and if the revival is successful, the rover will resume movement and the lander will collect data once again.

New Delhi: In their ambitious attempt to revive Chandrayaan-3 and kickstart the “bonus” phase of its mission, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) scientists continued their efforts to re-establish a connection with the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, and said that they will persist despite not having received return signals till late on Friday.

New Delhi, Aug 31 (ANI): Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) releases an image of Chandrayaan-3 Vikram Lander clicked around 11 a.m. IST from about 15 m through a Pragyan rover's navigation camera, hours after the release of its first image, which shows the lander resting on the moon's surface, on Wednesday. (ANI Photo) (ISRO Twitter)
New Delhi, Aug 31 (ANI): Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) releases an image of Chandrayaan-3 Vikram Lander clicked around 11 a.m. IST from about 15 m through a Pragyan rover's navigation camera, hours after the release of its first image, which shows the lander resting on the moon's surface, on Wednesday. (ANI Photo) (ISRO Twitter)

“Chandrayaan-3 Mission: 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,” tweeted Isro on Friday.

As per schedule, Isro started the attempts for revival of lander and rover of India’s third lunar spacecraft on Friday, when the Sun’s elevation was deemed enough to repower the instruments that were put to sleep in preparation of the lunar night some 14 days ago.

Scientists reiterated that this hopeful revival attempt will offer the chance for a bonus extension over and above what have already been entirely successfully achieved — and surpassed in some areas — mission objectives.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Nilesh M Desai, director, Isro’s Space Applications Centre, said, “Earlier we planned to reactivate the Pragyan rover and Vikram lander on the evening of September 22, but due to some reasons we will now do it tomorrow – September 23. We have a plan to take out the lander and rover from the sleep-mode and reactivate it.”

A top Isro official, however, told HT that there will be an official confirmation of the resurrection of the equipment once a connection has been established between the space agency’s ground stations and the lander and rover. The official, who did not wish to be identified, said that attempts were underway till at least late on Friday.

In earlier statements, Isro had said that it will try to revive the two Chandrayaan-3 modules on September 21 or September 22, as soon as the Sun dawns on the Shivshakti Point – the landing spot of the spacecraft, and where Vikram and Pragyan are parked.

Isro officials said that before the equipment on-board Vikram and Pragyan were put to sleep — in a phased manner starting September 2 — the batteries, that are powered by sunlight, were left charged and solar panels were oriented in a way that they receive light at dawn.

In a best-case scenario, when the commands are fed into the lander and the rover to bring the systems back to life, the rover will start moving around the lunar surface again and the equipment on-board the lander will also repeat the process of collecting data.

When the sunlight on the landing spot is bright enough to power the instruments, teams from Isro Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) will start the process of entering commands to revive the instruments. If the machines respond upon recharging itself, the mission will have an extended life and scientists will be able to bag more samples.

Speaking to HT, Isro chairman, S Somanath had explained on Thursday that while Pragyan rover has been tested to survive low temperatures — similar to that recorded during lunar nights, which is around -200 degrees Celsius to -250 degrees Celsius — but Vikram lander has not undergone all of these tests.

“Rover has been fully tested. But a lot of the design is similar for Pragyan and Vikram. This means that the tests that worked for Pragyan should also work for Vikram,” he said.

On August 23, India’s space agency created history after successfully landing near the lunar south pole, a feat that has not be achieved by any country before this. For the next 14 Earth days—amounting to one lunar day — the equipment on-board Chandrayaan-3’s lander and rover have collected crucial data.

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