It said Chandrayaan-2’s “orbiter continues to perform scheduled science experiments to complete satisfaction”. There are eight advanced payloads on the orbiter that will do three-dimensional mapping of Moon and look for water ice and minerals in the polar region of Moon.
#Chandrayaan2 Orbiter continues to perform scheduled science experiments to complete satisfaction. More details on… https://t.co/H5zZDi5Tda
— ISRO (@isro) 1568894221000
On the Vikram lander, the space agency said, “A national-level committee consisting of academicians and Isro experts are analysing the cause of communication loss with the lander.”
In the wee hours of September 7, the lander had made a ‘hard-landing’ on the lunar surface. During the 15 minutes of the final descent, the lander had initially performed the scheduled path from 30 km altitude to around 2km height from the lunar surface. However, at 2.1km altitude, Vikram deviated from the path and around 400 metre distance from the lunar surface, the communication with Vikram was lost.
Two days ago, Isro had thanked people for their continued support and emotional connect with the mission. “Thank you for standing by us. We will continue to keep going forward — propelled by the hopes and dreams of Indians across the world!” it tweeted.
Since September 7, Isro has been trying without success to establish contact with Vikram. Even US space agency Nasa had been sending radio frequency to Vikram with the help of its deep space network ground stations and making efforts to take images of the lander with its lunarcraft ‘Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’ circling the Moon’s orbit. Though Nasa’s LRO could not spot Vikram, it captured several images of the south pole and analysing them.
LRO deputy project scientist John Keller confirmed that the orbiter’s camera captured the lunar images, according to a report in cnet.com. “The LROC team will analyse these new images and compare them to previous images to see if the lander is visible (it may be in shadow or outside the imaged area),” Keller was quoted as saying in the statement. Nasa is validating, analysing and reviewing the images. It was near lunar dusk when the orbiter passed over, meaning large parts of the area were in shadow, the report said.
From Saturday onwards, 14 Earth days or sunny days in the south pole region will get over and lunar nights will start. During 14 night days, the south pole will witness freezing temperatures of over -240 degrees Celsius. In such extreme temperature, electronic components of the lander will most likely get damaged and the last chance to energise the lander with solar energy will also be lost.