Reactivation of Chandrayaan-3 lander, rover deferred by a day
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) earlier planned to reactivate the lander and rover on Friday evening.
The reactivation of Chandrayaan-3's Pragyan rover and Vikram lander, which was supposed to be carried out on Friday evening, has been postponed for Saturday due to several reasons, Director of Space Applications Centre Nilesh Desai said.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Desai said, “Earlier we planned to reactivate the rover and lander on the evening of 22nd September, but due to some reasons we will now do it tomorrow on 23rd September. We have a plan to take out the lander and rover from the sleep mode and reactivate it.”
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) planned to reactivate the lander and rover after they were placed in a 'sleep mode' for around 16 Earth days before the lunar night enveloped the Moon's south pole.
Desai said that the plan was to reactivate the rover and lander in order to move the rover further on the Moon's surface. He said, “We had a plan to move the rover to almost 300-350 metres. But due to some reasons we couldn't. The rover has moved 105 metres till now. Last time, we moved it for 10 days on the surface of the moon.”
Both the Chandrayaan-3 modules functioned effectively for around 10 Earth days and successfully carried out their tasks. The rover entered the ‘sleep mode’ on September 2, whereas the lander followed on September 4.
Desai added that significant data was taken by the rover and was received by ISRO. “The data has been archived and the scientists are working on it,” he said.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission was successful after Vikram lander completed the ‘soft-landing’ on the Moon on August 24, making India the first nation to land on Moon's south pole. Pragyaan rover then conducted in-situ experiments and successfully detected elements including Sulphur (S), Aluminium, Calcium, Ferrous (Iron), Chromium, Titanium, Manganese, Silicon, and Oxygen.
However, the extreme conditions at Moon's south pole are a significant challenge as nightime temperatures are as low as -200° Celsius.