The Indian rover Pragyan of the lunar mission “Chandrayaan-3” has been put into sleep mode after a lunar day. “The rover has completed its tasks,” the Indian space agency ISRO wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday. The lunar lander parked on the surface of the Earth’s satellite would now transmit the data it has collected so far to Earth.
Waiting for the sunrise
Pragyan’s battery is currently fully charged and the solar panel with the receiver switched on is aligned so that it can receive the light of the next sunrise – which is expected on September 22nd. One lunar day is equivalent to about 14 Earth days. “We hope for a successful awakening for another series of orders!”, wrote ISRO. “Otherwise, he will remain there forever as India’s ambassador to the moon.”
On August 23, the lunar lander Vikram successfully landed on Earth’s satellite and a day later the rover Pragyan set off to explore the surface. India was the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the moon, after the Soviet Union, the USA and China. The aim of the unmanned mission is to explore the south side of the moon, which has so far been little investigated. The focus is on the search for frozen water. The ice could be useful in future manned lunar missions.
Russia is failing – India is on the road to success
A few days before the successful landing, the first Russian lunar mission in 47 years failed: The Russian lunar probe “Luna-25” crashed after an unexpected incident – it was also supposed to examine a region at the south pole of the moon. Recently, a NASA lunar orbiter discovered what is believed to be the crash site of the Russian lander.
Yesterday, Saturday, India sent a research satellite towards the sun. The Aditya-L1 spacecraft successfully launched aboard a rocket from the launch pad in Sriharikota in southern India. The satellite was placed precisely into its intended orbit.
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