India's lunar probe rumored not to restart again
The Vikram lander and the Pragyan surface probe are two main components of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft that India launched into space in July, landing on the southern part of the Moon on August 23.
After the "sleep" period when the Moon's surface enters the dark phase, these two devices are expected to operate again. However, many people believe that Vikram and Pragyan may never be able to reactivate. ISRO has not yet received any signal from these two devices on the evening of September 22. Communication efforts are continuing.
|A photo of the Vikram lander module on the lunar surface taken by the navigation camera on the Pragyan probe on August 30. (Photo: ANI)|
Scientists have warned that the chances of restoring operations for the Vikram lander and the Pragyan probe at the Moon's south pole are very slim. The extreme cold at night here can drop below minus 220 degrees Celsius, which will cause electronic components to freeze.
It's not that ISRO cannot equip features to warm up and help restart these two devices, but adding these features will complicate the lunar surface exploration program.
The main goal of the Chandrayaan-3 program is to prove that India can perform a soft landing on the Moon. Spacecraft can be protected from the extreme cold of space in many ways.
For example, one could add a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG), in which the radioactive decay of Plutonium-238 would help release heat.