NASA tweets high resolution images, says Vikram had "hard landing"
New Delhi : The Chandrayaan 2 lander Vikram ended up making a hard landing on the lunar surface after it lost contact with the ground station during a historic attempt to soft land, said NASA on Friday (September 27). The team of scientists however failed to locate the lander.
"The Chandrayaan-2 lander, Vikram, attempted a landing Sept. 7 (Sept. 6 in the United States), on a small patch of lunar highland smooth plains between Simpelius N and Manzinus C craters. Vikram had a hard landing and the precise location of the spacecraft in the lunar highlands has yet to be determined," NASA said in a statement and released pictures of the targeted landing site, labelling the craters.
Our @LRO_NASA mission imaged the targeted landing site of India’s Chandrayaan-2 lander, Vikram. The images were taken at dusk, and the team was not able to locate the lander. More images will be taken in October during a flyby in favorable lighting. More: https://t.co/1bMVGRKslp pic.twitter.com/kqTp3GkwuM— NASA (@NASA) September 26, 2019
The high resolution images of the landing site have been clicked by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft during its flyby on September 17. Since the images have been captured during the dusk, the scientists failed to get the picture of Vikram lander.
It is possible that the Chandrayaan 2 lander is hiding in a shadow, it added. "The scene above was captured from a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Quickmap fly-around of the targeted landing site image width is about 150 kilometres across the centre...so far the LROC team has not been able to locate or image the lander. It was dusk when the landing area was imaged and thus large shadows covered much of the terrain; it is possible that the Vikram lander is hiding in a shadow," the statement said.
The moon orbiter will now again try to locate the Vikram lander in October when lighting conditions will be favourable.
The deadline to contact Vikram, which had a 14-day mission life, ended on Saturday last as lunar night began to fall in the south polar region of the moon where the lander was attempting a descent.