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Historic Landing

SAY CHEESE! This picture of India’s Vikram lunar lander was taken by the Pragyan rover on August 30. INDIAN SPACE RESEARCH ORGANIZATION/AP

On August 23, the Indian Space Research Organization landed a rover on the moon. India is the fourth country to do this. It’s the first to land near the moon’s south pole.

The rover is named Pragyan. It has searched the lunar surface for signs of frozen water and other elements. Scientists in India are studying its findings.

The rover explored during one lunar daylight period. That’s about two Earth weeks. On September 2, India’s space agency said Pragyan “is now safely parked and set into sleep mode.”

It’s unclear whether the rover will survive the cold lunar night. That’s expected to last until September 22. The space agency’s scientists say they are “hoping for a successful awakening for another set of assignments.”