Less than two weeks after its historic landing close to the lunar south pole, India’s space mission reports that the moon rover has finished its walk on the lunar surface and been switched to sleep mode.
“The rover finishes up its tasks. The Indian Space Research Organization stated in a statement late Saturday that the area of the moon’s daylight was now “safely parked and set into sleep mode.”
The rover’s payloads have been disabled, and the lander has sent the data it collected to Earth, according to the announcement.
It was planned for the Chandrayaan-3 lander and rover to last for one lunar day, or around 14 days on Earth.
The battery is fully charged right now. The solar panel is set up to catch the light on September 22, 2023, when the next sunrise is anticipated. Keep the receiver on. The statement read, “Wishing for a successful wakeup for another round of duties.
The rover’s hunt for evidence of frozen water on the lunar surface, which would be useful for future astronaut trips as a potential source of drinking water or to produce rocket fuel, has not yet yielded any results.
The moon rover discovered many other elements and confirmed the existence of sulfur, according to the space agency’s report from last week. According to the report, the rover’s laser-induced spectroscope sensor also found silicon, iron, calcium, titanium, manganese, titanium, aluminum, and iron on the surface.
The electronics on board the Indian lunar expedition, according to the Indian Express newspaper, weren’t made to endure extremely low temperatures, particularly those below -120 C (-184 F), during the moon’s darkness. On Earth, the lunar night can last up to 14 days.
The rover has limited battery power, according to science writer and co-author Pallava Bagla of books on India’s space adventure.
The information has returned to Earth and will initially be examined by Indian experts before being examined by all scientists worldwide, he said.
The rover may or may not awaken by sunrise on the moon since the electronics malfunction at such low temperatures, according to Bagla.
The technology to create electronic circuits and components that can withstand the extreme cold of the moon doesn’t exist in India, he claimed.
India last week became just the fourth nation to accomplish this feat after the United States, the Soviet Union, and China all failed to land on the moon in 2019.
The successful mission fits with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambition to create an image of an ascending nation asserting its position among the world’s elite and highlights India’s burgeoning standing as a technology and space superpower.
The mission, which is expected to cost $75 million, started more than a month ago.
The Russian Luna-25, which was headed for the same lunar region, spun into an uncontrollable orbit and crashed just days before India’s accomplishment. After a hiatus of 47 years, it was supposed to be the first successful Russian lunar landing.
The president of Russia’s state-run space corporation Roscosmos blamed the failure on a lack of experience stemming from the lengthy hiatus in lunar research that followed the final Soviet lunar mission in 1976.
India has been launching satellites since the 1960s, and in 2014 it was successful in placing one in orbit around Mars. Together with the United States, India is organizing its maiden trip to the International Space Station for the next year.