Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday said that efforts were made by their team to establish contact with the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover to wake it up from their sleep mode. It added that the their has been no contact with them but efforts are still continuing.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh said, "This could be possibly because of prolonged spell of cold weather conditions upto -150 degree C during the just concluded lunar night of 14 Earth days. However, efforts to establish contact shall continue."
Both the lander and the rover were put into sleep mode earlier this month on September 4 and 2 respectively, ahead of the lunar night setting in on Earth's only natural satellite. However, their receivers were kept on.
"Efforts have been made to establish communication with the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover to ascertain their wake-up condition. As of now, no signals have been received from them. Efforts to establish contact will continue." ISRO said in a post on 'X'.
“We have put both the lander and rover on sleep mode because temperature would go as low as minus 120-200 degree celsius. From September 20 onwards, sunrise will be going on at the Moon and by September 22 we hope that the solar panel and other things will be fully charged, so we will be trying to revive both the lander and rover, ” ISRO’s Space Applications Centre Director Nilesh Desai had told PTI on Thursday.
With sunlight back on the south polar region of the Moon, where both lander and rover are located, and their solar panels believed to be optimally charged, ISRO is making efforts to establish contact with them again to check their health and ability to resume functioning, in order to try to revive them.
After landing on the Moon on August 23, both the lander and the rover, and payloads onboard had performed experiments one after the other so as to complete them within 14 Earth days (one lunar day), before pitch darkness and extreme cold weather engulfed the Moon.
The lander and rover — with a total mass of 1,752 kg — were designed to operate for one lunar daylight period (about 14 Earth days) to study the surroundings there. However ISRO is hoping they can be revived, now that the Sun has risen again on the Moon, and that they carry on with the experiments and studies there.
Earlier in the day, ISRO informed that the plan to reactivate the Pragyan rover and Vikram lander has been delayed to take place on Saturday (September 23). Earlier, it was scheduled to take place on Friday (September 22).
According to ISRO, the delay occurred due to some technical issues. "We have a plan to take out the lander and rover from the sleep mode and reactivate it...We had a plan to move the rover to almost 300-350 metres. But due to some reasons...the rover has moved 105 metres there," ISRO informed.
(With inputs from PTI)