Chandryaan 2: Contact With Vikram Lander Lost Forever?
By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 19, Sep 2019, 20:36 pm IST | UPDATED: 19, Sep 2019, 20:38 pm IST
Delhi:The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday announced that the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter is performing satisfactorily well in its orbit around the Moon and continues to perform the scheduled science experiments as planned. However, the space agency do gave a hint indirectly which could be mean that the chances re-establishing connection with the Vikram lander are near impossible. Informing about the orbiter, ISRO took to Twitter and said: "#Chandrayaan2 Orbiter continues to perform scheduled science experiments to complete satisfaction."
However, speaking about the Vikram lander, the space organisation just said that a 'national level committee' is examining why the communication with the lander was lost. What is worth noting is the fact that until now ISRO has been affirmative about re-establishing connection with the Vikram lander but this time it chose not to say that all efforts are on to make contact with the Vikram lander, like before.
Even if this is to be considered as a hint by ISRO that it has given up on the Vikram lander, there is a decent enough reason for it. ISRO has only two days left to re-establish contact with the Vikram lander as it is soon going to be night on the moon which will last for around two weeks.
With each passing day, the hope of lander Vikram's revival sinks because of the 14-day period on the lunar surface. Fourteen days or one lunar day is all that the lander had to do its job as that is the only period it will be exposed to the Sun's rays. Thereafter, the solar panels will not be able to energise and it will be too cold for lander Vikram to operate as Moon plunges to less than minus 200 degrees Celsius during night.
Since the Vikram lander attempted to land on the moon on September 7, it was the beginning of the lunar day. The lunar night begins from September 22 and since then it will be too cold for lander Vikram to operate.
Sharing a five-point update on the Chandrayaan-2 mission, ISRO said that all the payloads of orbiter, which will perform various experiments on the Moon, are powered and initial trails were completed successfully. "Performance of all orbiter Payloads is satisfactory. Orbiter continues to perform scheduled science experiments to complete satisfaction," read the official statement from ISRO.
It has also been reported that United States space agency NASA is also analysing, validating and reviewing the images clicked by its lunar orbiter of the area on the Moon where India's Chandrayaan 2 mission made an unsuccessful attempt to soft land its Vikram module.
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft has snapped a series of images during its flyby on September 17 of Vikram's attempted landing sight near the Moon's uncharted south pole. The LRO's deputy project scientist John Keller shared a NASA statement confirming that the orbiter's camera captured the images.
In the early hours of September 7, Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) plan to soft land Chandrayaan-2 Vikram module on the lunar surface did not go as planned. Unfortunately, the lander lost communication with ground stations during its final descent. ISRO officials said the orbiter of Chandrayaan 2 -- second lunar mission -- remains healthy and safe.