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NASA’s LRO to capture images of Vikram lander on lunar surface

Oct 15, 2019, 8:21 am

NASA has scheduled a flyover of its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) over the crashed landing site of ISRO’s Vikram Lander on October 14, 2019. With a little luck, we will be able to see the condition the Vikram Lander is in currently.

On September 17, 2019, the LRO flew over the site but was unable to locate the lander as it was dusk at the lunar South Pole. By this time, the Vikram lander is most likely dead as during the 14 days of the lunar night the lander would not get sunlight which is necessary for the lander to generate power.

Besides, the lander was not designed with necessary pieces of equipment to operate in the stone-cold temperature of the moon during the lunar nights. If NASA somehow manages to capture images of the lander, the people at NASA will make those photos public as soon as possible.

The Vikram lander was carrying the rover, Pragyan which was supposed to roll out after Vikram’s soft landing. However, due to some issues, ISRO lost all contacts with the lander just 2.1 km above the moon’s surface. Thereafter, ISRO had made some unsuccessful attempts to reconnect to the lander.

After 14 days of trying to contact the lander, all hope was lost. However, ISRO’s orbiter using its onboard camera captured the image of the lander on the lunar surface.

The orbiter is reportedly “healthy, intact, functioning normally and safely in the lunar orbit.” It will continue its journey around the moon for one year. Recently, the orbiter’s High-Resolution Camera (OHRC) captured the highest resolutions pictures of the moon.

Chandrayaan 2 was ISRO’s second mission to the moon. Unlike the first mission which was fruitful, before and during the execution of the second mission, ISRO had faced some difficulties, mainly technological. The mission was launched on a GSLV-MkIII on July 22, 2019, and was scheduled to land on September 7, 2019.

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