Chandrayaan-3 lander and rover are in sleep mode and placed next to each other.
The lander and rover of Chandrayaan-3 are just days away from being woken up after a two-week-long lunar night. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had announced on X (formerly Twitter) on September 2 that it has "safely parked" lander Vikram and rover Pragyan in sleep mode next to each other with its scientific instruments turned off. Just before it went to sleep, the lander performed a short "hop", briefly firing its thrusters to move about 16 inches on the lunar surface.
ISRO had said that the battery of the lander-rover duo 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," it had said on X.
The space agency had also said that if they do not wake up on September 22, then they "will forever stay there as India's lunar ambassador."
ISRO had said that Vikram lander had "exceeded mission objectives" with the hop experiment.
The stated objectives of Chandrayaan-3, India's third lunar mission, were a safe and soft landing, rover roving on the moon's surface, and in-situ scientific experiments.
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The Vikram lander has been sitting at the Shiv Shakti point near the moon's South Pole since its successful soft landing on August 23.
This made India the first country to achieve the historic feat and bring to an end the disappointment over the crash landing of the Chandrayaan-2 four years ago.
India became the fourth country - after the US, China, and Russia - to have successfully landed on the moon's surface.