With the lunar sunrise expected on the Moon, ISRO scientists are working to revive Chandrayaan 3’s Vikram Lander and the Pragyaan rover, which have remained inactive for approximately half a month on the Moon’s Shiv Shakti point—enduring freezing temperatures reaching -200 degree celsius.
ISRO officials have clarified their plans to attempt the reactivation of the lander module and the rover on Thursday and Friday—taking advantage of the increased sunlight on the Moon. However, they acknowledge that the possibility of restoring full functionality to the hardware is limited; but they may be able to awaken the lander and rover with reduced capabilities.
Both the Vikram Lander and the Pragyaan rover are currently stationed at the Moon’s South Pole, where temperatures can plummet drastically. Initially designed to function for one lunar day, equivalent to 14 Earth days, these modules have been without sunlight for half a month.
ISRO’s chairman, S. Somnath said that he is hoping for the sun to shine on the Moon’s South Pole so that Chandrayaan 3’s hardware can be revived. “We can only hope to see the equipment back to life on September 22,” said S. Somnath.
Furthermore, regarding the status of the hardware, they were put into a dormant state as planned when the lunar sunset occurred on September 2. However, the solar-powered batteries were left charged, and the modules were positioned to receive sunlight upon the lunar sunrise.
It is worth noting that India’s Chandrayaan 3 mission achieved remarkable success, with the Vikram Lander executing a soft landing on the far side of the Moon—a feat no other country had accomplished before. This achievement made India the fourth nation, following the US, China, and Russia, to successfully land on the Moon’s surface and the first to land on the Moon’s South Pole. The Chandrayaan-3 mission started on July 14, launching on the Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM-3) rocket, embarking on a 41-day journey to reach and soft land on the lunar South Pole.