September 29, 2023

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India’s lunar rover has gone to sleep, and may never wake up: ScienceAlert

India’s lunar rover has gone to sleep, and may never wake up: ScienceAlert

India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission delivered the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover to the lunar surface on August 23. Now, with the end of the lunar day in two weeks, the rover’s mission may be over. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has put Peregyan into sleep mode.

We’re accustomed to rover missions lasting years, thanks in large part to NASA’s Mars rovers. But those rovers have MMRTGs (Multifunctional radioisotope thermoelectric generator) Power plants that last for years. It is also very expensive, while the Chandrayaan-3 mission cost only about $75 million.

But Pragyan depends on solar energy, and the lunar night has begun.

Bergian has transferred all of her data from her short mission and is now in a dormant state. The temperature on the Moon’s surface would drop to -120°C (-184°F), and the spacecraft’s electronics were not designed to handle that. But the battery is charged, and the receiver is still on. There is some hope that he can be awakened when the night passes and that he can continue his mission on September 22.

The mission’s engineering goals were to land safely on the Moon and demonstrate the vehicle’s ability to drive on the Moon. The mission achieved these goals.

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When it comes to science, the mission’s goals were to detect water ice and characterize the composition of lunar regolith. He carries a spectrometer and spectrometer for this purpose. Its measurements will also contribute to our understanding of lunar forcing and the evolution of the lunar atmosphere.

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ISRO has released some data from the mission. Temperature measurements taken by the lander showed a clear difference between the temperature just above the surface and just below it. The surface temperature was 50°C, and a few millimeters below the surface it was -10°C.

This is the first time the temperature has been measured near the South Pole, and this confirms what other missions have found elsewhere on the Moon. The top layer of regolith acts as an insulator and does not conduct heat well.

The expedition also discovered the presence of sulfur in Antarctica. It has been discovered elsewhere on the Moon, but this is the first time it has been discovered at the South Pole. It is also the first time it has been discovered through in situ measurements.

The rest of the mission statements will determine the overall outcome of the scientific objectives, and Indian scientists will get the first understanding of the data before it is made available to international scientists.

India attempted to land on the moon in 2019 but failed, so this achievement must be very satisfying for those working at ISRO. With this success, they became the fourth country to taste lunar success, after the United States of America, the Soviet Union, and China.

India sees itself as a great nation, and this achievement will only fuel that idea. It also probably doesn’t hurt that it comes shortly after Russia failed to land its Luna 25 spacecraft. India and Russia have been traditional allies since the Cold War, but India is basking in success, while Russia is learning to live with failure.

This success adds to India’s growing skills in space missions. They have launched multiple satellites, for themselves, for other countries, and for themselves Mangalian Mars Orbiter It lasted 7.5 years. They are also about to launch their first mission to the International Space Station in cooperation with NASA.

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ISRO is also planning a joint mission to the Moon with Japan called Lunar pole exploration mission (LUPEX.) LUPEX will include another lander/rover mission to the lunar south pole.

On an interesting side note, ESA plans to send its External Mass Spectrometer (EMS-L) on the LUPEX mission. Russia’s Luna 25 mission was originally scheduled to go to the moon, but ESA is no longer working with Russia due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

There is still a chance that Pragyan will wake up when the night passes. The sun will return on September 22, and ISRO hopes the lander can continue its mission. If ISRO is successful and manages to wake up Pragyan, it will increase the success of the mission.

This article was originally published by The universe today. Read the Original article.