BENGALURU: Chandrayaan-3 lander Vikram and rover Pragyan were expected to awake for a second innings on Friday, following Sunrise on the Moon on Wednesday, but Isro has heard nothing so far, although it continues efforts to revive the systems.
Isro chairman S Somanath had told TOI on the day the sleep command was initiated that the lander and rover should awake automatically. “…We’ve kept some circuits alive for this,” he had said.
Isro’s Space Application Centre (SAC) director Nilesh M Desai told TOI: “We have our fingers crossed. We are hoping to hear something. It could happen later tonight (Friday) or even tomorrow; there is no way to say when.” Another senior scientist said there was still “a lot of time left” and that Isro was waiting.
Regardless of whether the two wake up for a second innings or not, the Chandrayaan-3 mission is successful, with all its objectives having been met. Vikram, in fact, exceeded the same by even performing a “short” lunar hop.
Somanath and Chandrayaan-3 project director P Veeramuthuvel had told TOI earlier that the biggest challenge for Vikram and Pragyan’s waking up was the survival of the electronic components, given that the lunar night in the polar region could even breach -200° Celsius. However, it is not confirmed if Vikram and Pragyan had to endure temperatures so cold in the past 15 days.
M Sankaran, director, UR Rao Satellite Centre, the Chandrayaan-3 lead centre, had explained to TOI earlier that the systems need an optimal Sun elevation angle – 6° to 9° – for systems to work. Aside from sunlight and the right elevation, there needs to be a rise in temperature above a certain threshold.
Multiple Isro scientists TOI spoke with reiterated that Vikram and Pragyan waking up again would be a bonus second innings for the mission.

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