ISRO trying to communicate with Chandrayaan 2’s lander ‘Vikram’

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Indian Research Space Organization (ISRO) is continuously making efforts to reconnect with Chandrayaan 2’s lander ‘Vikram’, after a day, when it was spotted on the lunar surface by Chandrayaan’s 2 onboard cameras.

However, ISRO has said, time is running out and the possibility of re-establishing communication looks “less and less probable.”

K Sivan, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation on Saturday made a statement that the space agency will try to establish a link with the lander for 14 days.

According to a senior official associated with the mission,”Progressively… as time goes by… it’s difficult(to establish link).”

However, with “right orientation” it can still generate power and recharge batteries with solar panels, he added. “But it looks less and less probable, progressively,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Vikram lander’s planned and actual descent trajectory is identical till the last 2.1 km stretch of its descent.

Another top ISRO official said “hard-landing” of Vikram on the Lunar surface has made the task of linking again with it that much difficult as it may not have the “right orientation,” and may not have landed on its four legs. “Impact shock may have caused damage to the lander,” he said.

The lander was designed in a way to execute a soft landing on the lunar surface and to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 earth days.

Contact from the lander to the ground stations was lost during its powered descent to the Lunar surface minutes before the planned touch-down in the early hours of Saturday.

The 1,471-kg lander of Chandrayaan 2 is first Indian mission to explore the lunar terrain with home-grown technology, which is named Vikram after, the father of the Indian space program, Dr Vikram A Sarabhai

Chandrayaan 2’s 27-kg rover is a six-wheeled robotic vehicle named Pragyan, which translates to ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, and is housed inside the lander.

The lander carried three scientific payloads to conduct surface and subsurface science experiments, while the rover carried two payloads to enhance our understanding of the lunar surface, according to ISRO.

 

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