In an update on India’s victorious Chandrayaan-3 mission, the Indian Space Research Organisation said that the Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover are still in sleep mode. The space agency is establishing efforts to awaken the lander and rover for their next set of cosmic missions.
“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,” ISRO wrote in a post on social media platform X. “Efforts to establish contact will continue,” it added.
Earlier this month, the Indian space agency had put the Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover of Chandrayaan-3 to sleep mode to conserve their energy and help them survive the chilly lunar night. The rover was shut down on September 2. Both the payloads on the rover module of India’s third lunar mission, the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer and the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope, had also been turned off. The data collected by both the payloads had been beamed back to Earth. Later on September 4, the lander was also snuggled to sleep.
ISRO plans the next attempt to reactivate both modules tomorrow September 23, Director of Space Application Centre Nilesh Desai told news agency ANI. “We had a plan to move the rover to almost 300-350 metres. But due to some reasons…the rover has moved 105 metres till now,” Desai said.
Just to recap, Chandrayaan-3 is the third mission within the Chandrayaan program by ISRO, aimed at exploring the lunar south pole. Launched on July 14, it focuses on demonstrating safe landing and roving capabilities on the Moon’s surface. The mission includes the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, similar to those used in Chandrayaan-2, which successfully touched down at the lunar south pole on August 23. Notably, Chandrayaan-3’s rover detected the presence of elements like sulphur, oxygen, and more and expanded our understanding of this unexplored lunar area.