Chandrayaan-3’s uncertain future: Lunar night comms loss

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NEW YORK, BRONX (ORDO News) — After successfully landing on the lunar south pole, India‘s Chandrayaan-3 mission faced communication loss, likely due to the extreme temperatures of the lunar night.

While comparisons with China‘s Chang’e 4 mission offer a glimmer of hope for a resumption of work, the chances of a revival are diminishing by the hour.

Moonlit Night and Quiet Dawn

The lunar night, which lasted about two weeks, enveloped the landing module and the rover in its cold embrace. As the new lunar day dawned, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) began trying to contact researchers.

However, there has been no response yet, and there is a possibility that both devices will remain immured approximately 600 km from the south pole of the Moon.

Despite the uncertainty of the results, the flight is still considered a success, since it is the first spacecraft to land near the south pole of the Moon.

The area is significant because its permanently shadowed crater contains vast amounts of frozen water, a valuable resource for future lunar missions. ISRO also successfully lands a rover and lander on the Moon for the first time since its predecessor Chandrayaan-2 failed.

Characteristics and design of Chandrayaan-3

Even though the situation looks bleak, there is still hope as both the Vikram lander and the Pragyaan rover remained undamaged. ISRO put them into hibernation mode during the lunar night, hoping that sunlight would charge the batteries and revive them. However, since the beginning of the new lunar day, none of them have responded to requests.

Contact efforts continue

ISRO is making attempts to contact Vikram and Pragyan to determine their waking state. However, so far there have been no signals from them. The organization remains committed to continuing efforts to establish communications and resume flight.

Temperature issues and design limitations

The extreme temperatures of the lunar night pose a significant challenge to the mission. With temperatures ranging from -200°C to -250°C (-328°F to -418°F), the lander and rover were not designed to operate in these conditions.

The rover’s small 10-amp-hour battery provides the energy needed to run the solar array and survive periodic eclipses. Likewise, the Vikram rover’s 62.5 amp-hour battery was fully charged and ready for the new lunar day.


News agencies contributed to this report, edited and published by ORDO News editors.

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