In a bold move signalling a paradigm shift in its approach to space exploration, India has opened its doors wider to the global space industry.
After a lunar night of two weeks, Chandrayaan-3’s lander and rover will soon be awakened. On September 2, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) declared on X (previously Twitter) that it had “safely parked” the lander Vikram and the rover Pragyan next to each other in sleep mode with their research instruments off. The lander briefly fired its engines to move around 16 inches on the lunar surface in a brief “hop” before going to sleep.
The lander-rover pair battery, according to ISRO, is fully charged. “The solar panel is positioned to catch the light on September 22, 2023, when the next sunrise is anticipated. It had said on X (formerly Twitter) that the receiver was kept on.
Additionally, the space agency has stated that if they do not awaken by September 22nd, they “will forever stay there as India’s lunar ambassador.”
Vikram Lander’s hop experiment, according to ISRO, “exceeded mission objectives.”
A safe and soft landing, moon rover roving, and in-situ scientific investigations were the stated goals of Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar mission.
Since making a successful soft landing on the moon on August 23, the Vikram lander has been resting at the Shiv Shakti point close to the South Pole.
India became the first nation to accomplish the feat historically and put an end to the disappointment following the Chandrayaan-2’s crash landing four years prior.
After the US, China, and Russia, India became the fourth nation to make a successful landing on the moon’s surface.