India

Chandrayaan-2: Vikram found in single piece, efforts continue to establish contact

New Delhi: All hope is not lost and the Indian Space Research Agency (ISRO) is continuing all efforts to make contact with Vikram. The Lander has been found on the lunar surface in a tilted position but luckily it is in one piece.

Reports quote an ISRO official saying, “”It had a hard-landing very close to the planned (touch-down) site as per the images sent by the on-board camera of the orbiter. The lander is there as a single piece, not broken into pieces. It’s in a tilted position,”

The official said that an all-out effort is being made to see whether communication can be re-established with the lander. He said an ISRO team is on the job at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru.

The mission life of Vikram is one Lunar day, which is 14 earth days and ISRO will continue its efforts during that time.

Another official said that communication can be restored only if all systems functioned properly.

However, the rate of restoring communication is good as the chances of Vikram coming to life is not ruled out completely.

An official said, “But there are limitations. We have experience of recovering spacecraft (which had lost contact) in geostationary orbit. But here (in the case of Vikram), that kind of operational flexibility is not there. Already it’s lying on the surface of the Moon, and we cannot reorient it. Vital thing is antennas will have to pointed towards the ground station or the orbiter. Such operation is extremely difficult. At the same time, chances are good and we will have to keep our fingers crossed.”

Vikram lost contact with ISRO just 2 kms above the Lunar surface on its descent downwards after parting with the Orbiter. The Lander was following as per planned path of the scientists till ISRO lost contact with it.

According to the images, Vikram had indeed landed within a close range of the expected landing site. The lander contains a rover, Pragyan, and 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).

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