Days after all hopes of communication with Chandrayaan 2 lander Vikram were lost, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has released some pictures of the moon's surface, which have been captured by Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter. The Orbiter's High-Resolution Camera (OHRC) took pictures of the lunar surface from a height of 100 km. The ISRO says the OHRC image was acquired at 4.38 IST on September 5, and that it covered a part of Boguslawsky E Crater (named after German astronomer Palon H Ludwig Boguslawsky) and surroundings on the southern polar region of the moon. The crater has a 14 km diameter and 3 km depth.
The OHRC onboard Chandrayaan 2 orbiter is an important tool for lunar topographic studies of select regions, as it provides very high spatial resolution images of the moon, claims the ISRO. "With a spatial resolution of 25 cm from a 100 km orbit and a swath of 3 km, it provides the sharpest images ever from a lunar orbiter platform," says the ISRO.
The premier space agency says the Chandrayaan 2's orbiter payload, in its first few days of observation, had detected charged particles and their intensity variations on the lunar surface.
The Vikram lander was scheduled to touch down on the Moon's surface at 1.55 AM on September 7 in India's first attempt at a soft landing on the moon. It lost communication with the orbiter on September 7, moments before it was scheduled to land on the moon. The United States' premier space agency NASA, which had also tried to establish contact with the lander, said it had a "hard landing" on the moon's surface.
While releasing high-resolution images captured by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) during a lunar flyby, the agency said the Vikram lander attempted a soft landing on a small patch of lunar highland smooth plains between "Simpelius N and Manzinus C craters" on September 7.
Edited by Manoj Sharma