New Delhi: As the lunar night sets in, the scientific community remains determined to reestablish contact with India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been tirelessly attempting to communicate with the Lander-Rover since sunlight returned to the Shiv Shakti Point on the lunar surface, but these efforts have, thus far, yielded no success. With the onset of the lunar night on September 30, the prospects of restoring communication with the probe have grown dimmer.
Lasting a staggering 14 Earth days, the lunar night presents extreme challenges, plunging the environment into frigid darkness. During the lunar night, the temperature on the lunar surface plummets to a bone-chilling minus 180 degrees Celsius, rendering the Lander and Pragyan rover inoperable. The complete absence of sunlight worsens these challenges, making it nearly impossible to power the equipment on board and sustain communication.
The Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover are in sleep mode, with no communication since September 2. ISRO had previously expressed optimism about the probe’s ability to withstand the harsh conditions of the lunar night, and this optimism persists.
Chandrayaan-3, which made its historic landing on the lunar surface on August 23, has already exceeded expectations, delivering a wealth of valuable information. Among its notable findings are the discovery of minor elements and the presence of sulphur, which have sparked excitement and anticipation in the scientific community.