Indian Space Research Organisation is still trying establish communication with the lander of Chandrayaan 2—India’s second mission to the moon.
Scientists lost communication with the Vikram lander in the early hours of September 7 just 2.1 km from the lunar surface. “VikramLander has been located by the orbiter of Chandrayaan2, but no communication with it yet,” ISRO tweeted on Tuesday.
The lander might have been located but there are no pictures of it yet. That may all change in the next week when Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance orbiter passes over the part of the lunar surface where Vikram lander might be found.
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The New York Times reported quoting a Nasa spokesperson that the space agency will share “any before and after flyover imagery” of the area for Isro’s analysis.
NASA’s orbiter is scheduled to pass over the part of the moon where the Chandrayaan 2 lander might be found on September 17, the report said.
The Chandrayaan 2 lander was trying to make history by making India the first country to land on the South Pole of the moon but lost contact with the mission control just two minutes before the planned landing. Scientists believe there could be water ice on the moon’s South Pole. A successful landing would have meant India would have become the fourth country after the US, the USSR and China to land on the moon.
The lander of Chandrayaan 2—Vikram—is named after the pioneer of Indian space programme, Vikram Sarabhai. Chandrayaan 2 is an indigenously designed spacecraft. It comprised an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The rover, Pragyan, was meant to examine the surface of the moon.
The rover was meant to search for water in the lunar surface, and look into craters that could untangle key questions about the history of the solar system.
Isro had said 90 to 95% of the objectives of the Chandrayaan 2 mission have been achieved in spite of the setback on the soft landing.
Scheduled for a take-off on July 15, Chandrayaan 2’s original launch was aborted due to a snag on the eleventh hour. After a week, the problem was fixed and India’s second moon mission was launched on July 22 from Sriharikota.
Sep 12, 2019 17:22 IST