India’s small lunar rover Pragyan has successfully completed a tour of the lunar south pole, after its historic last landing. Now the car is parked for a very cold night, which lasts about three Earth weeks.
“The rover has completed its missions. It is now stable and has been put to rest,” says the space agency, Isro.
Pragyan has sent large amounts of data for analysis in India. Among other things, the mission was to search for traces of frozen water at the lunar south pole, which human probes had not visited before.
Internal combustion engines do not run on the moon, so Bragyan, like all previous lunar rovers, is electric and is equipped with solar panels for charging. Now Isro confirms that this technology can survive a harsh lunar winter, which can mean temperatures of minus 120 degrees or even colder.
“The battery is fully charged. The solar panel is positioned to receive light when the sun rises on September 22,” the Swedish Space Agency wrote. “We hope for a successful awakening to new missions!”
The vehicle is part of the Chandrayaan-3 expedition, which is already being seen as a great success. India has become the fourth country to land a probe on the moon, just a few days after Russia failed to launch the Luna 25 spacecraft, which crashed and was destroyed.
India is now betting on becoming a major power as well in the field of space, and this weekend also sent the Aditya L1 probe to study the sun.
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