In a recent article on the end of India’s inaugural moon mission, the BBC reported:

Soon, the spacecraft started overheating due to the intense summer heat on the Moon. Isro scientists say it was deft mission management that saved it from a total burnout.

I’ve got news for whoever wrote that: summer in the northern hemisphere is not summer in the whole solar system. It’s not even summer on the whole planet. There is no such thing as “summer heat” on the Moon. There’s just heat. The same heat, all the time, from the same sun, all the time. The Moon doesn’t have a large enough tilt relative to the sun to have significant seasons, nor the atmosphere to support them if it did, and they wouldn’t affect a spacecraft in orbit above it anyway.

It’s not really clear from this whether it was the BBC or Isro, India’s space agency, that associated the heat with summer, but it’s wrong either way. It’s not a good justification for the failure of the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft and it shouldn’t have made it into the article.

Edit: I emailed the BBC about this, they promised to send the message to the editor in charge of the article, and by the time I got around to checking it they had removed the word “summer” from the offending sentence.

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