US space agency NASA has said that the Chandrayaan-2’s Lander – Vikram had a heavy landing on the lunar surface when the scientists from ISRO lost communication with it. The NASA also tweeted pictures of the site of planned landing.
“The Chandrayaan-2 lander, Vikram, attempted a landing Sept. 7 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. 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 kms across the centre.”
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 photos shared by NASA were taken by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which passed over the landing site on 17 September.
Vikram was scheduled to touch down on 7 September. Indian scientists at ISRO and PM Narendra Modi were present in Bangalore to witness the historic event, which was India’s first attempt at a soft landing on the Moon.
A wide view of a series of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera’s narrow-angle camera images collected on Sept. 17 showing the area of the targeted Vikram landing site. The pixel scale is 28314 pixels by 1041 lines.
NASA said that its camera located the site about 600 kilometres (370 miles) from the south pole in a relatively ancient terrain (70.8°S latitude, 23.5°E longitude). “In order to visualise the site, take a quick fly-around. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) passed over the landing site on Sept. 17 and acquired a set of high-resolution images of the area; so far the LROC team has not been able to locate or image the lander,” NASA said.
It added, “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 lighting will be favourable when LRO passes over the site in October and once again attempts to locate and image the lander.”