Chennai: While stating that Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram has been located on the moon’s surface by the lunar orbiter, ISRO today said all possible efforts are being made to re-establish contact.
In a tweet, ISRO said, “#VikramLander has been located by the orbiter of #Chandrayaan2, but no communication with it yet. All possible efforts are being made to establish communication with lander.”
— ISRO (@isro) September 10, 2019
On Monday, ISRO Chairman Dr Sivan, while announcing that Vikram had been located, said “it must have been a hard landing”. ISRO officials said images sent by the lunar orbiter showed that while the lander appeared to be undamaged, it was in ‘a tilted position’.
“The lander is there as a single piece, not broken into pieces. It’s in a tilted position,” another ISRO official said, while another cautioned that the chances of re-establishing contact were ‘very difficult’.
Vikram lander, named after the father of India’s space programme Vikram Sarabhai, was scheduled to soft-land on the lunar surface, past midnight on Friday. But communication with the lander snapped just 2 km short of the lunar surface. The space agency has 11 more days to keep trying. The mission life of the lander is 14 days that is equivalent to one lunar day.
Without any communication, even if the lander and the rover, Pragyan, are intact, they will not be able to transmit any scientific data back to Earth. ISRO says the mission had already achieved 90-95 per cent of its objectives and would contribute to lunar science.