September 05, 2023

India’s Moon Rover Enters Sleep Mode

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) made history when their Chandrayaan-3 space module managed to land on the Moon last month. Now the mission’s lunar rover, Pragyan, has geared up for its next big task: going to sleep.

The 27-kilogram robotic vehicle has completed several assignments and transmitted the data to Earth since the Vikram lander settled down safely; now, it will enter sleep mode for one lunar day.

“Currently, the battery is fully charged. The solar panel is oriented to receive the light at the next sunrise expected on 22 September 2023. The receiver is kept on. Hoping for a successful awakening for another set of assignments!” reads the ISRO statement released on Monday, 4 September.

A lunar day is 29-and-a-half Earth days, so it equates to a little over 14 days of night and day, respectively. The main concern during this period is that night-time temperatures can drop down to an incredible negative 130 Celsius, which can adversely affect Pragyan’s equipment and onboard electronics.

With a fully-charged battery, ISRO hopes the rover’s reserves can keep itself warm and hold out until it can charge again.

Until then, it’s going to be a long sleep for the lander and rover, but the team at ISRO remains optimistic for a warm awakening later this month.

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