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India’s historic moon lander and adorable sidekick rover may be dead for good

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  • India’s moon lander and its sidekick rover have not responded to multiple wake-up calls.
  • And now it looks like the two robots may be dead for good.
  • India’s the first country to land near the lunar south pole, but its spacecraft weren’t designed to last.

India made history last month as the first country to land near the moon’s south pole. But several days after they were set to wake up, the Chandrayaan-3 moon lander and its sidekick lunar rover remain fast asleep.

And now it seems like they may be dead for good.

The robots went to sleep in early September — when night set in on the moon and their batteries drained.

The next lunar day started on September 22, and the Indian Space Research Organisation hoped the two spacecraft, which run on solar power, would reawaken that day as the sun rose on the moon and its solar panels recharged.

Image of the rover on board India's moon lander.

Indian Space Research Organization



Unfortunately, the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover didn’t respond to mission control’s message.

Additional attempts to wake them up on Monday were unsuccessful, and scientists told the BBC that the chances of the historic lander reawakening are “dimming with each passing hour.”

It was always unlikely that the two robots would withstand the moon’s elements. Nighttime temperatures on the moon can dip to as low as -334 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NASA. The lander and rover weren’t built to withstand such cold, The New York Times reported.

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