Chennai: After making it hop once, India’s moon lander Vikram was put to sleep, the Indian space agency said.
“Vikram Lander is set into sleep mode around 08:00 Hrs. IST today. Prior to that, in-situ experiments by ChaSTE, RAMBHA-LP and ILSA payloads are performed at the new location. The data collected is received at the Earth. Payloads are now switched off. Lander receivers are kept ON,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on X platform.
“Vikram will fall asleep next to Pragyan (moon rover) once the solar power is depleted and the battery is drained. Hoping for their awakening, around September 22, 2023,” ISRO added.
Earlier, ISRO had said Vikram soft landed on the lunar soil for a second time.
In a post on X, ISRO said: “Vikram Lander exceeded its mission objectives. It successfully underwent a hop experiment.”
“On command, it fired the engines, elevated itself by about 40 cm as expected and landed safely at a distance of 30 – 40 cm away.”
According to the space agency, the kick-start gives enthusiasm for lunar sample return in the future and also for manned missions to the moon.
“All systems performed nominally and are healthy. Deployed Ramp, ChaSTE and ILSA were folded back and redeployed successfully after the experiment,” ISRO said.
Sometime back, the Indian space agency uploaded the video Pragyan moving on the social media platform X and said: “It feels as though a child is playfully frolicking in the yards of Chandamama, while the mother watches affectionately. Isn’t it?”
Now perhaps with the playful kid going to sleep the mother is hopping around!
On September 2, ISRO had put to sleep the 26 kg moon rover Pragyan.
“The Rover completed its assignments. It is now safely parked and set into Sleep mode. APXS and LIBS payloads are turned off. Data from these payloads is transmitted to the Earth via the Lander,” ISRO said.
“Currently, the battery is fully charged. The solar panel is oriented to receive the light at the next sunrise expected on September 22, 2023. 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 ‘Suprabhatam’ (Sanskrit prayer to awaken Lord Venkateswara in Tirupati early in the morning) or the wake up call will be made by ISRO to the two on September 22.
India on August 23 reached the Moon with its lander safely landing on the lunar soil in a text book style.
Later, the rover rolled down and started doing experiments.
ISRO said, the rover has found the presence of oxygen, aluminium, sulphur and other materials near the lunar south pole, while investigation regarding the presence of hydrogen is underway.