Published: Thu, September 19, 2019
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

Chandrayaan-2: ‘NASA analysing images of Vikram Lander site’

Chandrayaan-2: ‘NASA analysing images of Vikram Lander site’

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft has snapped a series of images during its flyby on September 17 of Vikram's attempted landing sight near the Moon's uncharted south pole. This means the sun is lower in the horizon with relief features casting long shadows. But due to loss of contact, Vikram had a hard landing.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday thanked Indians in the country and overseas for the support it received after the space agency lost contact with the lander of the second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, minutes before touchdown on the lunar surface on September 7. The LRO's primary mission is mapping the lunar surface to identify sites for future robot and human missions to the Moon, according to a report. The simulation will include what it had not done and what it had assumed to arrive at the probable cause of its moon lander Vikram hitting the lunar surface after veering away from its plotted path and losing communication.

LROC lead investigator Mark Robinson, of Arizona State University, provided the following statement to Inside Outer Space: "Per NASA policy, all LRO data are publicly available".

NASA's LRO is now expected to fly over the site next on October 14. ISRO has said that every effort is being made to establish contact with Vikram Lander.

Lander Vikram, with rover Pragyan housed inside it, lost communication with ground-stations during its final descent, just 2.1 km above the lunar surface, minutes before the planned touchdown on the Moon. After revolving around the Earth's orbit for almost 23 days, the spacecraft began its journey towards the moon on August 14. In Two Days, the Moon will have the night and the night on Moon will last for 14 days (as per our time). Both have the objective to explore Moon's polar region that's believed to have iced water pockets in its shadowed craters. "The LRO will have better chances of getting a good image of the lander during its next flyover", said Jatan Mehta, a former science officer with TeamIndus, a Bengaluru-based private company that aims to send a lander-rover to the moon.

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