India's lunar rover has gone to sleep while it waits for the next sunrise

After completing two of its primary mission goals, India's Chandrayaan-3 lunar rover and lander have gone to sleep while they await the next sunrise.

1 minute & 13 seconds read time

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the Indian equivalent of NASA, has announced that both its lunar lander and lunar rover have gone to sleep.

India penciled its name into the history books on August 23, 2023, when it successfully landed on the moon, becoming the fourth nation to do so and the first nation to land in the southern lunar region. The Chandrayaan-3 mission includes the solar powered Pragyan rover and the Vikram lander, both of which are now in sleep mode as they await the next lunar sunrise scheduled to happen in approximately two weeks. Notably, the ISRO announced via its official X account that its rover has a "fully charged" battery and that it is safe.

The decision to place India's lunar explorers into sleep mode came after the rover scoured over 330 feet of the lunar surface, searching for deposits of frozen water that may be trapped inside permanently shadowed craters. These water deposits, if discovered, will be extremely valuable to Earth when we begin colonizing the surface of the moon as technology could convert the frozen water into not only drinkable liquid for astronauts but also fuel for returning rockets.

"Vikram will fall asleep next to Pragyan once the solar power is depleted and the battery is drained. Hoping for their awakening, around September 22, 2023," ISRO said in a post on X on Monday, September 4.

"Currently, the battery is fully charged," ISRO said in a post on X, previously known as Twitter. "The solar panel is oriented to receive the light at the next sunrise expected on September 22, 2023. The receiver is kept on."

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