ISRO's Chandrayaan 2 Update: The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) of NASA has been circling the moon since 2009 and will pass over the landing location of Vikram Lander again on October 14 and make another attempt to spot ISRO's landing module.
Chandrayaan 2 News: As informed by the American Space agency NASA, its spacecraft flew over the landing location of India’s Vikram lander of Chandrayaan 2 Mission. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) of NASA passed over the location where Vikram lander module of India’s Chandrayaan 2 Moon Mission was supposed to have landed but was unable to locate the missing spacecraft. The LRO, which is NASA’s Moon-orbiter has been circling the Moon since 2009. NASA has informed that it will make another attempt to spot the Vikram Lander and will fly over its landing location again on October 14. The dusk before the beginning of the lunar night in the landing region of the Moon made the job tougher for the LRO as the low light and shadows did not allow proper investigation. There are possibilities that the Vikram Lander might be lying in the shadows of Craters in the region.
A statement available on the official webpage of LROC (LRO Camera) states, “The LRO passed over the landing site of Vikram Lander on September 17 and acquired a set of high-resolution images of the region. The LROC team has not been able to identify or spot the Vikram Lander in the images so far.” Notably, the official webpage of LROC is handled by a team at Arizona State University.
The images which have been released by NASA are very high-resolution images of the landing sites. One of the pics captured by the LRO covers a 150-km swathe of the landing territory of Vikram Lander.
Earlier, the moon-lander of India’s Chandrayaan 2 had failed to make a soft landing on the Lunar surface as ISRO lost contact with it. The Vikram lander was just 2.1 km above the Moon when it noted a deflection in its scheduled lunar descent flight path. ISRO’s moon-lander was unable to slow itself down at the rate required to make a safe landing. Seconds later at around 0153 hours IST, when the Vikram lander was merely 335 metres above the Moon’s surface, it stopped responding and ISRO lost contact with it. The lander would have been travelling at a speed of more than 200 km per hour when it lost contact with the ground station as suggested by experts.
A report published in IE suggested that The Orbiter of Chandrayaan 2 makes several revolutions of the Moon in a single day.
The Vikram lander and Pragyan Rover were designed to function only for 14 Earth-days or 1 Lunar day, following its scheduled lunar touchdown on September 7. ISRO was aware of the fact that a 14-Earth-day long lunar night will follow after the Lander and Rover modules have worked for 14-Earth-day(1 lunar day) in case of a successful landing. With the Lunar night descending on the Moon, the temperatures dip drastically to as low as minus 200 degrees Celsius in the area where Vikram was set to land. The disastrously cold temperatures will certainly cause immense damage to the electronics on the instruments of the Vikram Lander as they were were not designed to withstand such extremely low temperatures.
NASA has affirmed that it will be taking more images in October during a flyby in much favourable lighting conditions.