Releasing high resolution images of Chandrayaan 2 landing, NASA states Vikram Lander may be hidden in the shadows

News Bharati    27-Sep-2019
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New Delhi, September 27: Associating with Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), NASA attempted to help the space agency find the Vikram Lander. NASA in a latest, released high-resolution images captured by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) during its flyby of the lunar region where the Vikram Lander was scheduled for a soft landing. Informing about the condition of the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter, ISRO Chief K Sivan said that the orbiter is continuing to perform scheduled science experiments.

NASA on Friday has stated that lander Vikram had a hard-landing after analysing the images. However, NASA's statement has also said that it will attempt to capture the picture of Vikram lander once again, assuming that it may be hiding behind the shadows. The scene was captured from a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Quickmap fly-around of the targeted landing site image width is about 150 kilometres across the centre. The LRO passed over the landing site on September 17.

The LRO acquired a set of high-resolution images of the area; so far the LROC team has not been able to locate or image the lander. LRO will next fly over the landing site on October 14 when lighting conditions will be more favourable, informed John Keller, Deputy Project Scientist Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission, Goddard Space Flight Centre.

In a statement released by NASA, it explained, the Vikram lander module attempted a soft landing on a small patch of lunar highland smooth plains between Simpelius N and Manzinus C craters before losing communication with ISRO on September 7. It further added, “Vikram had a hard landing and the precise location of the spacecraft in the lunar highlands has yet to be determined.”

However, NASA said that Vikram lander may be hiding in shadows. “It was dusk when the landing area was imaged and thus, large shadows covered much of the terrain. It is possible that the Vikram lander is hiding in a shadow. The lighting will be favourable when LRO passes over the site in October and once again attempts to locate and image the lander,” NASA said.