In some exciting moon news, NASA’s special spaceship (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter or LRO) has taken a picture of the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s Vikram lander on the moon’s surface. This happened after the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) showed us a 3D picture of the lander taken by their Pragyaan rover. The NASA picture gives us a cool view from the top, like how birds see things.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is like a smart robot spaceship from NASA that goes around the moon in a funny way. It takes pictures and gives NASA important information for planning trips to the moon. NASA’s planning to send people and robots to the moon as part of something called the Artemis program.
The new NASA picture shows where Chandrayaan-3’s lander landed on the moon. It’s about 600 kilometers from the bottom of the moon. The picture has a shiny circle in it because when the lander’s rockets touched the moon’s dirt, it made a bright mark.
Now, here’s the thing: The Chandrayaan-3 mission put its lander and rover to sleep mode on September 3 because it was getting dark on the moon. The mission was designed to work for just one lunar day, which is like two weeks on Earth.
The head of ISRO, S. Somnath, explained, “We are going to make them (the lander and rover) sleep soon so they can stay safe during the night. Right now, the rover’s battery is full. It’s waiting for the moon’s sun to wake up again on September 22, 2023. We’ve left the receiver on.”
But here’s the cool part: Even though the mission was supposed to end after two weeks, ISRO hopes the lander and rover might wake up and work again when the moon’s sun rises. This is a bit like hoping your phone works after it gets really cold. If the instruments on the lander and rover can survive the super cold and dark moon night, they might just come back to life when the sun shows up.