Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday announced that it has located the moon lander Vikram in one piece on lunar surface.
According to ISRO officials, Vikram, carried by Chandrayaan-2, is in a tilted position near the target touch-down zone on the moon’s south pole. The update comes after the orbiter captured a thermal image using its on-board camera of Vikram after the unprecedented incident.
After completing various space maneuvers, India’s Chandrayaan-2 was all set to launch its lunar lander on moon’s surface on Saturday. However, minutes before scheduled soft-landing, the Bengaluru ground station of ISRO lost communication with the spacecraft.
Vikram, carrying moon rover Pragyan, was merely 2.1 km above the lunar surface when the link was lost.
Efforts to re-establish connection with the spacecraft is underway. Meanwhile, a team associated with the mission is trying analyse the level of damage caused to the lander, the official added. However, the chances of all systems being functional is very little as the Lander was designed for soft-landing alone, another official added.
After the communication with the Lander was lost during the wee hours on Saturday, Chairman of the space agency, K Sivan had said that ISRO will committed in restoring the connection with Vikram for next 14 days. Vikram and Pragyan was designed with a life-span of one lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 Earth days, to study the southern surface of the moon.
During the current lunar mission, the lander carried three payloads. Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA),Chandra’s Surface Thermo-physical Experiment (ChaSTE) and Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) were the three ladings transported by Vikram.