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Chandrayaan-2: NASA fails to trace Vikram lander in latest images

BusinessToday.In     October 23, 2019

US space agency NASA has been unable to trace Chandrayaan 2's  Vikram lander on the lunar surface again. According to a NASA scientists, this could be because of two reasons-- one, the lander is lying in shadowed part of the moon or second, Vikram is located outside the area US space agency photographed.

"It is possible that Vikram is located in a shadow or outside of the search area. Because of the low latitude, approximately 70 degrees south, the area is never completely free of shadows," John Keller, Deputy Project Scientist of NASA, said.

NASA has so far made two attempts to locate Chandrayaan 2's lander on lunar surface on September 17 and October 14.

On September 17, the NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), also known as Moon orbiter, passed through the landing site of Vikram and acquired some high-resolution images of the area . However, the LRO remained unsuccessful in locating the Vikram lander. 

On its second attempt, October 14,  LRO took images of Vikram landing site, but could not observe any traces of the lander.

On September 7, the ISRO, for the first time, had attempted soft landing of lander Vikram on the moon's South Polar Region, before losing communication with the space organisation. Vikram lander lost contact with ISRO ground station, just 2.1 km above the touchdown site.

The possibility of establishing contact with the lander had a deadline of September 21 as after that the region entered into a lunar night. The life of Vikram lander and Pragyan rover was one lunar day, which is equal to 14 Earth days.

Also read: Chandrayaan-2: NASA's orbiter sends fresh pictures; may shed light on Vikram lander's fate

Also read: Chandrayaan-2: Orbiter doing well but no contact with Vikram lander; next priority Gaganyaan, says ISRO chief


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