Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Spotted? NASA Releases Images Of Landing Site


Chandrayaan-2 Vikram lander had a hard landing says NASA as it released high-resolution images of the landing site. NASA's LRO orbiter had earlier captured images of the estimated landing site which were released on September 26. However, the exact location of Vikram couldn't be pointed out, NASA said.

Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Spotted? NASA Releases Images


Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Lander Hard Landing

Chandrayaan-2 Vikram was supposed to soft-land on the Moon on September 7. Unfortunately, the ground team at ISRO lost all communications during the last phase of the touchdown. NASA LRO conducted a flyby over the site where the Vikram lander was supposed to land on September 7 and captured high-resolution images. NASA has posted some of these images on its official Twitter handle and explains that "the images were taken at dusk, and the team was not able to locate the lander."

Chandrayaan-2 Vikram: Where Is The Lander?

The Vikram lander lost all communication when it was just 2.1km above the touchdown site on the lunar surface on September 7. ISRO had a tough deadline to reestablish communication by September 21 as the Moon would enter a lunar night after that. Moreover, the Vikram lander and its Pragyan rover were designed with a mission life of 14 days, making it difficult for the Indian space agency.

The Chandrayaan-2 Vikram lander's mission was to land in the South Pole region of the Moon. However, a lunar night means a drastic drop in temperature, sometimes as low as minus 200 degree Celsius. The Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover are not designed to withstand such extreme temperatures, which means the electronic components would get permanently damaged without solar energy.

Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Spotted? NASA Releases Images


Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Search Continues

After NASA's LRO captured the high-resolution images, we know for certain that the Vikram lander had a hard landing. But the search for Vikram lander will continue. NASA says its LRO will flyby over the Vikram landing site again on October 14 as the lighting conditions will be more favorable that time.

The present images show large shadowed areas and Vikram could be anywhere among it. "More images will be taken in October during a flyby in favourable lighting," NASA's tweet says. The possibility of finding Vikram lander is still there.

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