In what seems to be a major breakthrough, ISRO has found out the exact location of the Vikram lander, which had lost contact with the space agency just 2.1 km above the Moon's surface on Saturday, ISRO Chairman K Sivan has said. The Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter has sent thermal image of the Vikram lander, identifying its exact location on the Moon, the India Space Research Organisation chief confirmed. The space agency, however, has not been able to establish communication with the Vikram lander yet.
In an exclusive interview to India Today TV, K Sivan said the agency had managed to locate "the lander using the orbitor and has attained a thermal image of it."
"We've found the location of Vikram Lander on lunar surface & orbiter has clicked a thermal image of the lander. But there is no communication yet. We are trying to have contact. It will be communicated soon," the ISRO chief said, reported ANI.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief, K Sivan to ANI:We've found the location of #VikramLander on lunar surface&orbiter has clicked a thermal image of Lander. But there is no communication yet. We are trying to have contact. It will be communicated soon. #Chandrayaan2pic.twitter.com/1MbIL0VQCo— ANI (@ANI) September 8, 2019
Space experts suggest the agency would try to establish contact with the Vikram lander for the next 14 days, and that information coming in from the Orbiter would be crucial.
India's attempt to create history by becoming the first nation to land on the South Pole of the Moon had faced setback after Vikram lander lost communication just before soft-landing. Addressing the nation early morning on Friday, PM Modi had said India was "proud of our scientists" and that "we will rise to the occasion and scale newer heights of success". "They've given their best and have always made India proud. These are moments to be courageous, and courageous we will be!" he said.
1.3 billion Indians are with @isro.
They make us proud with their resilience and spirit of exploration. https://t.co/9CGR0iXnhI- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 8, 2019
ISRO said on Saturday that Chandrayaan 2's Orbiter -- that has sent tharmel images of Vikram lander -- would continue to move around the Moon's orbiter for the next one year. It said the Orbiter would send remote sensing observations from around 100-km orbit of the Moon. "The Orbiter is healthy, intact, functioning normally and safely in the Lunar orbit," the official told news agency PTI. The mission life of the 2,379-kg Orbiter is one year, the official added.
The instruments on the Orbiter are meant to map the lunar terrain, examine the intensity of solar radiation, as well as examine the presence of major elements such as Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Calcium, Titanium, Iron, and Sodium. It will also conduct a quantitative estimation of water-ice in the polar regions of the Moon.