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Chandrayaan 3 faces setbacks in lander, rover retrieval

Indian mission Chandrayaan 3 landed on the surface of the moon on August 23.



Chandrayaan 3 faces setbacks in lander, rover retrieval
GNN Media: Representational Photo

New Delhi: India's ambitious Chandrayaan-3 mission, aimed at landing on the Moon's south pole, is approaching its conclusion, with scientists encountering difficulties in retrieving its lander and rover.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission successfully touched down at the Moon's south pole in late August, marking a historic achievement.

India became the fourth country globally and the first to reach the Moon's southernmost region with a soft landing.

However, at the start of September, the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover were placed in sleep mode to safeguard their electronics during the lunar night, which lasts for 14 Earth days and sees temperatures plummet to minus 250 degrees Celsius.

The decision was made to reactivate them once the moon's day cycle resumed, allowing sunlight to recharge their solar-powered batteries.

Despite these preparations, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has been unable to reestablish contact with the lander and rover, and the chances of recovery appear slim.

ISRO continues its efforts to restore communication with the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, with the current window of opportunity running until September 30, after which another lunar night begins.

Should these efforts fail, the mission will remain on the Moon, serving as India's lunar ambassador.

During its operational time on the Moon, the Pragyan rover covered a distance of up to 100 meters and transmitted vital images and data back to Earth, confirming the presence of various metals, including sulphur, iron, and oxygen on the lunar surface.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission, which launched on July 14, spent ten days in Earth orbit before successfully entering lunar orbit on August 5.

The mission achieved its historic landing on the Moon's South Pole on August 23.