December 5, 2023

Little hope of awakening Indian lunar equipment – Science

At the end of August, India became the fourth country to make a soft landing on the moon. The lander and rover then collected data on the moon. Now the devices appear to be inactive.

New Delhi (dpa) – It is likely that the lander and rover of the Indian lunar mission “Chandrayan-3” will no longer be active. This was reported by Indian media, citing representatives of the Indian space agency ISRO. After landing, the two instruments collected data about the Moon and put them to sleep at the end of the lunar day – on the Earth’s satellite, day and night for the last 14 Earth days. The hope was that the lander and rover would become active again on the new lunar day.

“No, there is no hope of waking up,” Alluru Selin Kiran Kumar, former chief of ISRO, told Indian news agency PTI on Friday. “If it had happened, it would have happened by now. Now there is no hope.” On August 23, India became the fourth country to make a soft landing on the moon. Previously, only the Soviet Union, the United States and China had succeeded in this.

On a moonlit night it can reach -200 degrees

After completing the work of the lander and rover, ISRO confirmed that it hopes to wake up on the next lunar day on September 22 or within the following days. On a moonlit night, the temperature can reach -200 degrees or even colder, which presents a challenge for the devices, they said. ISRO had previously said that the lander and rover should always remain on the moon as India’s “ambassadors to the moon”.

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The goal of the unmanned Chandrayaan-3 mission was to explore the little-studied south side of the Moon, focusing, among other things, on the frozen water found there. Such ice could be useful, among other things, for future manned lunar missions. “Chandrayan” means “lunar module” in Sanskrit.

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