Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 30 November 2023 12.42 AM IST

Chandrayaan-3: All eyes on rover as sun rises on Moon 


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Pragyan rover of India's Chandrayaan 3 was put on sleep mode when the sun set on the moon. Today we will know whether the lander and the rover will wake up after their first night's sleep on the moon.

Although the sun rose yesterday, the ISRO scientists are waiting for the heat and light to increase during the day. Solar panels on the rover and lander only work when there is light. The equipment runs on solar energy. The best time for this is when the inclination (elevation angle) of the Sun from the surface of the Moon is 6 degrees to 9 degrees. But the temperature should rise above the specified limit. The command to wake up the lander and the rover will be given later today or tomorrow morning. The lander and the rover were put into sleep mode on September 2 as night fell on the moon.

A day on the moon is 14 days on Earth, and a night is just as long. Day length will be reduced by two days at the South Pole where Chandrayaan 3 landed. It will be colder. It is doubtful that the instruments on the lander and the rover will survive the freezing temperatures below minus 200 degrees Celsius.

The lander was turned off and restarted before going into sleep mode. It was lifted off the lunar surface and soft-landed again 16 inches away. This gives hope of revival and waking up will be a bonus. Rework can clear doubts and provide new information while analyzing the information obtained so far. It takes months and sometimes years to analyze the data and reach conclusions. If not awakened, the lander and rover will forever remain the Indian presence at the Moon's south pole.

"It would be easy if there was a way to know if the lander and rover would wake up after a two-week hibernation. We'll have to wait and see how they perform after sunrise on the Moon."Dr. S. Somanath, ISRO Chairman.

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