Chandrayaan 2: Hope fades for lander Vikram as NASA images draw blank

Chandrayaan 2: Hope fades for lander Vikram as NASA images draw blank

Chandrayaan 2: Hope fades for lander Vikram as NASA images draw blank

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) rocket has snapped a progression of pictures during its flyby on September 17 of Vikram's endeavored landing sight close to the Moon's odd south pole.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission comprised the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), Vikram (1,471 kg, four payloads) and Pragyan (27 kg, two payloads).

The mission life of the lander is also one lunar day, while the orbiter will continue its mission for a year. A successful soft landing on the moon's surface would have made the country only the fourth - after the United States, Russia and China - to achieve the feat.

From September 21 the Moon region will enter into a lunar night which will witness extreme cold temperatures of over -240 degree Celsius, making it impossible for the lander and the rover Pragyan to get any sunlight to generate power for its working. And while the Orbiter responded to every signal sent from the ISRO, there was no response from the Lander. But, in the last few days, the space agency has dropped hints that hopes for re-establishing communication with the Vikram lander, which houses the six-wheeled Pragyaan rover, have ended. Under the Chandrayaan-2 mission launched on 22 July, a soft landing was to be made on the lunar surface of the Vikram lander on 7 September. The agency's Jet Propulsion laboratory had beamed a radio frequency to the lander to elicit a response after landing of Vikram didn't go as planned. If the scientists of ISRO could not succeed in this, then they may never be contacted.

"National-level committee consisting of academicians and ISRO experts are analysing the cause of communication loss with the lander", it added. ISRO officials said that the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2 remained healthy and safe.

Meanwhile, ISRO has said the orbiter continued to perform scheduled science experiments to "complete satisfaction" and performance of all its payloads were "satisfactory". These included a position correction, so that its legs, which were horizontal to the lunar surface, would be pointing downwards, to enable a landing on its feet.

The Chandrayaan-2 satellite had began its journey towards the moon leaving the earth's orbit in the dark hours on August 14, after a crucial Trans Lunar Insertion manoeuvre by ISRO to place the spacecraft on "Lunar Transfer Trajectory".

Latest News