‘Thank you’, says ISRO to all who stood by mission

Pablo Tucker
September 26, 2019

On September 7, Vikram, while on its descent to soft land on the Moon's south polar region, apparently lost control and crash-landed there, snapping the communication links.

A day later, ISRO chief K Sivan said that the location of Chandrayaan-2's Vikram Lander had been found but communication with was yet to be established. However, just when it was within touching distance from landing on the Moon surface it lost communication with the ground stations. Today, an orbiter operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will be flying over Vikram's landing site and attempt to locate and capture pictures of the lander.

The LRO's deputy project scientist, John Keller shared a NASA statement confirming that the orbiter's camera captured the images.

Currently, it is lunar dusk time at Vikram's landing site, this means that the Sun is lower in the horizon, when relief features cast long shadows. Efforts were on since to establish contact with it somehow within the next 14 days, since the lander has been specifically to conduct experiments for 14 Earth days, equivalent to one lunar day.

The Lander Vikram was to soft-land on the far side of the moon at on September 7.

It's now been almost two full weeks since India's lunar lander, Chandrayaan-2, went quiet moments before what was supposed to be a soft landing on the Moon.

ISRO further informed that the initial trials for orbiter payloads were completed successfully and the performance of all orbiter payloads was satisfactory. However, the agency has not made any of those images public, and it's unlikely the camera on the orbiter would have been able to determine the condition of the crashed lander anyway. India's second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra's Nellore district at 2.43 pm.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been orbiting the Moon for ten years now.

The publication later changed the headline to "NASA's LRO Begins Search For Silent Chandrayaan-2 Lander".

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