A lunar orbiter operated by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has captured images of the Vikram Lander’s landing site this week in its effort to help Indian Space Research Organisation to find the lander which lost contact with the orbiter while it was 2.1 km above the lunar surface.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the orbiter operated by NASA, took pictures of the landing sites in dim light and the organisation is trying to find the exact location of the Vikram Lander using these photographs.
However, the pixelated photographs taken by the orbiter makes it more difficult for NASA to find the lander.
The pictures were taken during the late evening near the moon’s south pole region this week. However, shadows cast by the moon’s craters may have covered the lander, thus, making it difficult to locate the lander.
On September 17, NASA sent the orbiter to find the location of Vikram Lander which lost contact with ISRO ON September 7.
According to reports in India Today, the moon will be completely filled with darkness on September 21 after which it will be impossible to locate the lander.
The south pole region of the moon, where Vikram attempted to land, is the coldest region on the moon with temperatures falling below minus 200 making it impossible for the lander and the rover to survive the cold weather.
The Vikram Lander was supposed to land on the moon and roll out the rover ‘Pragyan’, but the scientists failed to establish a connection with the Vikram Lander in the last moment.
India created history on July 22 when ISRO launched the country’s second lunar mission. Chandrayaan 2 seeks to explore the far side of the moon, a feat no other country has achieved yet. If this landing is successful, the 10-billion-rupee mission will allow scientists to carry out studies regarding the presence of water at the moon’s south pole.
The Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission, if completed successfully, would have made India the fourth country in the world to land a rover on the moon. It also would have been the only country to land a rover on the south pole region of the moon.
ISRO also announced on Thursday that a ‘national-level committee consisting of academicians and ISRO experts are ‘analyzing the cause of communication loss with the lander’.