Chandrayaan-3: ISRO plans to ‘reactivate’ asleep Vikram and Pragyan today. What happens next?

No signals have been received from Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander and Pragyan rover so far even as sunlight is back on the lunar south pole where the duo was put to sleep earlier this month. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will try to reactivate the lander and rover on Saturday.

Though the initial plan was to revive the rover and lander on Friday evening, ISRO postponed the process to Saturday due to undisclosed reasons.

Speaking to ANI, Nilesh Desai, Director of Space Applications Centre said that the plan is to reactivate the lander and rover and move them further on the lunar surface. He said, “We had a plan to move the rover to almost 300-350 metres. But due to some reasons we couldn’t. The rover has moved 105 metres till now.”

After the historic soft-landing on the lunar surface on August 23, both the rover and lander conducted several experiments over the course of about 14 earth days (one lunar day), after which darkness and extreme cold weather engulfed the moon. The rover was put into sleep mode on September 2, followed by the lander on September 4.

“Till now, no signals have come…It has a 50-50 chance if the electronics survive the cold temperature…otherwise, the mission has already done its job,” Desai said.

Chandrayaan-3 made significant discoveries including the presence of elements like sulphur on the moon. The data collected has been archived and scientists are working on it, Desai added. The lander and rover have already delivered what was required of them, and a successful revival would be a bonus so that further studies can be conducted.

Equipped with solar panels and batteries powered by the sun, Vikram and Pragyan were put to sleep with the panel oriented to get light once the sun rose again on the moon on Friday.

“The receiver is kept on. Hoping for a successful awakening for another set of assignments! Else, it will forever stay there as India’s lunar ambassador,” the ISRO had said earlier in a post on X.