Mission accomplished, India puts moon rover to ‘sleep’
A view of the moon as viewed by the Chandrayaan-3 lander during Lunar Orbit Insertion on August 5, 2023 in this screengrab from a video released August 6, 2023. ISRO/Handout via REUTERS
India’s moon rover, the first to reach the lunar south pole, was turned off after completing its two-week mission of performing research, reported the country’s space agency.
The Pragyan rover from the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft was “set into Sleep mode” but with batteries charged and the receiver turned on, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) reported late Saturday in a post on X, previously Twitter.
“Wishing for a successful awakening for the next set of tasks!” ISRO said. “Otherwise, it will remain there in perpetuity as India’s lunar ambassador.”
India joined the United States, China, and the erstwhile Soviet Union in landing on the moon. It beat them to the harsh south pole, only days after Russia’s Luna-25 crashed on a similar endeavor.
Chandrayaan-3’s soft, textbook touchdown after a failed attempt in 2019 sparked widespread jubilation in the world’s most populous country. The media hailed the landing as India’s greatest scientific feat.
Pragyan travelled over 100 m (330 feet), confirming the presence of sulphur, iron, oxygen and other elements on the moon, ISRO said.