The Propulsion Module (PM) of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, which was initially intended for lunar operations, was successfully returned to Earth's orbit by ISRO after exceeding its lunar mission objectives, demonstrating India's ability to not only launch objects to the Moon but also bring them back.
The Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO on Friday said that it tried to establish communication with Chandrayaan 3’s Lander Vikram and Rover Pragyan to ascertain their wake-up condition. However, the ISRO said, it has not received any signal from the lander and rover modules so far but efforts will continue to establish a connection.
“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,” ISRO said.
Earlier in the day, Director of Space Applications Centre, Nilesh Desai said that the planned reactivation of Chandrayaan 3’s rover Pragyan and lander module Vikram will take place on Saturday.
“Earlier we planned to reactivate the (Pragyan) rover and (Vikram) 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…,” Desai was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Chandrayaan 3 has already completed its mission objectives. However, the rover and the lander were put to sleep at the fall of lunar night on September 2. ISRO had then said that it will try to awaken them at next sunrise on September 22.
“Wishing for an effective awakening for a new set of tasks. Otherwise, it would remain there permanently as India’s lunar envoy,” the agency had said.
Reviving Chandrayaan3 will not be an easy task as the temperature on Moon during a lunar night could plummet to as low as -208 degrees F. After spending 14 days in such a temperature, it would be difficult for instruments of Vikram and Pragyan to start functioning again.
Speaking about the re-start manuevre of Chandrayaan 3’s lander module and rover, former ISRO chief GM Nair said that Vikram and Pragyan have been in deep sleep for almost two weeks and awakening them will be “almost like checking out something from the freezer and then trying to use it.”
On August 24, India created history after its Moon mission Chandrayaan 3 achieved soft landing near the South Pole region on lunar surface. As the Vikram lander carrying the Pragyan rover in its belly touched down on the lunar surface, it marked a giant leap in India’s space faring journey providing a well-deserved finale to ISRO’s long years of toil.