BENGALURU: Isro late on Saturday said: “The rover completed its assignments. It is now safely parked and set into Sleep mode. APXS and LIBS payloads are turned off. Data from these payloads is transmitted to the Earth via the Lander.”
This means the command to put the rover to sleep has been given and it will go to sleep Sunday.
Currently, the battery is fully charged and the solar panel is oriented to receive the light at the next sunrise expected on September 22, 2023.
The receiver is kept on.
“Hoping for a successful awakening for another set of assignments! Else, it will forever stay there as India’s lunar ambassador,” Isro added.
In its short life on Moon, Pragyan has completed traversing more than 100 metres as of Saturday, which marked only the 10th day of its deployment, which happened early on August 24, several hours after Vikram’s soft-landing on August 23.
While 14,400 minutes make up 10 days, Pragyan, with a velocity of just 1cm/second and a host of obstacles to overcome, has moved for 167 minutes in all these days. That’s because given its size and design, its movement is highly restricted and needs meticulous planning. It can only move around 5 metres in each mobility plan executed by Isro.
Pragyan’s operations are not fully autonomous and require commands to be sent from Earth. In any given mobility plan Pragyan could have only covered 5-metres given the turnaround time. It has also had to overcome obstacles — it safely negotiated a small crater whose depth was 10cm and avoided a bigger crater with a 4-metre diametre — which would have consumed a lot of time.
“If we look specifically at the rover, we’ve managed to cover more than 100 metres in just 10 days, while several other missions that have lasted longer, even as long as six months, have only managed 100-120 metres,” P Veeramuthuvel,
project director, told TOI.