Skip to main content

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 achieve this feat. It’s the first to land near the moon’s south pole.

The rover, named Pragyan, has searched the lunar surface for signs of frozen water and other elements. Its findings have been transmitted to scientists in India.

The rover explored for one lunar daylight period. That’s about two Earth weeks. A statement released by India’s space agency on September 2 says Pragyan “is now safely parked and set into sleep mode.”

It’s unclear whether the rover will survive the long, cold lunar night, which is expected to last until September 22. In the statement, agency scientists say they are “hoping for a successful awakening for another set of assignments.”