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Chandrayaan 3: Pragyan goes to sleep, may ‘wake up’ on next sunrise on Sept 22

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Chandrayaan 3 mission: Rover Pragyan has completed all its assignments and is now set into sleep mode, Isro said.

After traversing over 100 metres on the lunar surface, Pragyan Rover on Saturday completed all its assignments and was set into sleep mode, 11 days after Chandrayaan 3 successfully soft-landed on the moon. As Pragyan sleeps with the sunset on the moon, the data from all the payloads is transmitted to the Earth via Vikram lander, ISRO said. The battery of Chandrayaan 3 is fully charged and the solar panel will receive the light at the next sunrise on the moon expected on September 22. Though Vikram and Pragyan were designed to have one lunar day lifetime, they may wake up on the next sunrise. “Else, it will forever stay there as India’s lunar ambassador,” Isro tweeted in the latest update on Chandrayaan 3.

From Shiv Shakti point, the landing point on the south pole, the Pragyan rover traversed more than 100 metres in the last 11 days. In its major finding, Rover confirmed the presence of Sulphur in the lunar soil. The Vikram lander sent data regarding lunar soil temperature.

While Vikram lander remained at the position where it landed, the Pragyan rover rolled out of the lander hours after landing and started taking a walk on the lunar soil — being the first ever to tread on the south pole on the moon. During its walk on the moon, it came across a 4-meter diameter crater ahead of it and had to change its course.

As Isro launched its Sun Mission on Saturday, Isro chief S Somnath said the process to put both Vikram and Pragyan to sleep would be started soon as they won’t remain functional on lunar night without the sun. The temperatures during lunar night drop to minus 200-degree Celsius, hard for Pragyan and Vikram to survive if they are not put to sleep.

What will happen to Pragyan and Vikram now?

As Isro mentioned earlier too, there is a chance of solar-powered Vikram and Pragyan coming back to life with the next sunrise. Otherwise, they will remain on the moon.

source by : Hindustan Times

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