Chandrayaan-3 Lander Missing: Isro Still Trying to Establish Contact

Chandrayaan-3 Lander Missing

Isro, India’s space agency, says it is attempting to contact its Moon lander and rover as a new lunar day begins, but has yet to receive any signs.

In August, the lander, carrying the rover in its belly, landed near the Moon’s little-explored south pole.

They spent two weeks collecting data and photographs before being put into’sleep mode’ at lunar dark.

Isro believed that when the Sun rose on September 22nd, the batteries would recharge and the modules would reawaken.

However, the intense cold of the moon night could have harmed the batteries.

Isro announced on X (previously Twitter) on Friday that “efforts to establish communication with the Vikram lander and Pragyaan rover will continue.”

With its Chandrayaan-3 mission, India created history by being the first country to successfully land a spacecraft near the lunar south pole.

It also became the fourth country after the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China to make a soft landing on the Moon.

The landing was meticulously timed to coincide with the start of a lunar day, giving Vikram and Pragyaan two weeks of sunlight to operate with. One day on the Moon is equivalent to little more than four weeks on Earth, with each day and night lasting roughly 14 days.

The space agency has issued regular updates on their travels and discoveries, as well as photographs captured by them.

While putting them to sleep, Isro stated that both had finished all of their responsibilities and hoped they would awaken at the start of the next lunar day.

Experts noted China’s Chang’e4 lander and Yutu2 rover, both of which awoke many times with the morning.

Read More: The Soviet Mathematician Who Solved the Mystery of Planet Formation

However, former Isro chief AS Kiran Kumar told the BBC that it was not a foregone conclusion because nighttime temperatures near the lunar south pole often drop to -200C to -250C (-328F to -418F), and the batteries are not meant to operate or be stored at such extreme temperatures.

Isro has attempted to temper expectations by stating that if Vikram and Pragyaan do not wake up, they will remain on the Moon “as India’s lunar ambassador.”

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