India’s Lunar Rover Completes Exploration Phase, Scientists Scrutinize Data for Evidence of Ice Water

by Sophia Chen
lunar exploration

India’s lunar rover has concluded its exploratory phase on the moon’s surface and has been transitioned to sleep mode, less than a fortnight following its monumental touchdown near the moon’s southern pole, according to a statement from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

“The rover has successfully concluded its designated tasks and is securely stationed in sleep mode, as the lunar daylight phase in its area concludes,” noted the ISRO in a statement released late this Saturday.

The scientific instruments onboard the rover have been deactivated, and all accumulated data have been relayed back to Earth through the lander unit, as per the statement.

Chandrayaan-3, comprising both the lander and the rover, was engineered to function for only one lunar day, equivalent to 14 Earth days.

“The onboard battery is presently at full charge. The solar panel is positioned to maximize light absorption upon the next anticipated sunrise on September 22, 2023. The communication receiver remains activated, in anticipation of a successful reactivation for future missions,” the ISRO statement elaborated.

There has been no official revelation concerning the rover’s investigations for the presence of frozen water on the moon, which holds significant implications for future manned lunar missions as a potential source of drinkable water or for conversion into rocket propellant.

Last week, ISRO confirmed that the lunar rover had identified sulfur and several other elements on the moon. Utilizing its laser-induced spectroscope, the rover also detected elements like aluminum, iron, calcium, chromium, titanium, manganese, oxygen, and silicon on the lunar surface.

Pallava Bagla, a noted science writer and co-author of books chronicling India’s space endeavors, remarked that the rover operates on limited battery capacity. “The data is now on Earth and will initially undergo analysis by Indian scientists, subsequently to be scrutinized by the international scientific community,” Bagla stated.

Given the extreme lunar temperatures, which can plummet to below -120 C (-184 F) during lunar nights lasting 14 Earth days, it remains uncertain whether the rover will reactivate upon the next lunar sunrise. Bagla noted, “Technology to create electronic circuits resilient to the moon’s extreme cold does not yet exist in India.”

Following an unsuccessful moon landing attempt in 2019, India became the fourth nation, after the United States, the Soviet Union, and China, to successfully land on the moon last week.

The accomplishment elevates India’s status as an emerging powerhouse in technology and space research, aligning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aspirations to position India as an ascending global player. The mission was undertaken at an estimated financial outlay of $75 million.

In a contrasting development, Russia’s Luna-25 mission, which had targeted the same lunar region, entered an uncontrolled orbit and ultimately failed, marking Russia’s first unsuccessful lunar landing after 47 years. Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s state-controlled space corporation Roscosmos, attributed the failure to a lack of current expertise due to the long hiatus in Russian lunar exploration since 1976.

India’s space program has been operational since the 1960s, successfully launching satellites for both domestic and international clients and establishing a satellite in Martian orbit in 2014. The nation is in the planning stages for its inaugural mission to the International Space Station next year, in collaboration with the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about lunar exploration

What was the purpose of India’s lunar rover mission?

India’s lunar rover mission aimed to explore the moon’s surface near the south pole, gather scientific data, and search for signs of frozen water and various elements.

How long did the lunar rover operate on the moon’s surface?

The lunar rover operated for one lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 days on Earth, before being put into sleep mode.

What were the key findings of the lunar rover mission?

The lunar rover confirmed the presence of sulfur and detected elements like aluminum, iron, calcium, chromium, titanium, manganese, oxygen, and silicon on the moon’s surface.

Why was the lunar rover transitioned to sleep mode?

The lunar rover was transitioned to sleep mode as the lunar daylight phase in its area came to an end, and its solar panel was oriented to receive light during the next sunrise.

What potential applications do the findings hold for future space missions?

The discovery of frozen water on the moon’s surface could have implications for future manned missions, serving as a source of drinking water and a resource for making rocket fuel.

How does India’s lunar mission contribute to its global standing?

India’s successful lunar mission highlights its growing prominence in technology and space exploration, aligning with its aspiration to assert itself among global leaders.

How did Russia’s Luna-25 mission compare to India’s mission?

Russia’s Luna-25 mission aimed for a similar lunar region but failed due to lack of expertise after a 47-year hiatus in lunar research, contrasting with India’s successful landing.

What are India’s future space plans?

India is planning its first mission to the International Space Station in collaboration with the United States, following its success in lunar exploration and satellite launches.

More about lunar exploration

You may also like


CuriousMind77 September 4, 2023 - 4:55 am

hold up, so dey lookin’ 4 frozen water on da moon? dat cud b epic 4 future space sips!

StarWatcher September 4, 2023 - 6:15 am

russia’s misfire, india’s touchdown – space drama at its finest, amirite?

AstroDreamer September 4, 2023 - 12:26 pm

india’s joinin’ the space station party, next stop ISS! way 2 go!

TechGeek123 September 4, 2023 - 12:47 pm

india’s moon rover wrked hard, found some metals, watevr. amazin’ steps in space race!

SpaceEnthusiast98 September 4, 2023 - 6:09 pm

wow, india’s lunar rover roamed the moon & hit sleep mode. dat’s sum cool sci stuff, u kno?

GrammarNinja55 September 4, 2023 - 8:00 pm

lunar rover, data analyzed, elements detected, tech magic unfoldin’ in space.


Leave a Comment


BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News