July 13, 2024

Sun Setter

The Sun is officially setting on the landing spot of India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission yet again, diminishing hopes of the country’s lunar lander ever waking up.

As of September 30, the receding Sun has started plunging the area into darkness. And without the warming rays of the Sun, temperatures are set to plunge, something that may have stopped the lander dubbed Vikram from waking up from its prolonged nap in the first place.

Deep Sleep

Just under a month ago, India’s moon lander and accompanying Pragyaan rover were put in “sleep mode” to await the next lunar sunrise. Things looked good at first, with the spacecrafts’ batteries fully charged by the Sun’s rays.

“Hoping for a successful awakening for another set of assignments!” the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) tweeted at the time. “Else, [the lander] will forever stay there as India’s lunar ambassador.”

But the Sun rose and weeks later, with no signs of life from the rover.

ISRO scientists haven’t been able to make contact, saying that “hopes are dimming” of Vikram and Pragyaan ever waking back up in an update last week.

Now that the Sun is setting again, India’s lander will likely have to survive yet another lengthy period of extreme cold, further diminishing its already slim chances of reawakening.

The ISRO has yet to update us on the status of its lander, but things aren’t exactly looking good.

In short, India’s lander will likely remain planted in place, a “lunar ambassador” serving as a reminder of the country’s groundbreaking mission to the Moon.

More on the lander: India’s Moon Lander Appears to Have Died

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