Artist's impression of Chandrayaan-2 orbiter (Image: ISRO)
In a big breakthrough, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter has located Vikram Lander on lunar surface. The orbiter has clicked thermal images of the lander. These images are being analysed. However, contact is yet to be established with the lander.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief K Sivan told ANI, "We have found the location of Vikram Lander on lunar surface and 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."
According to sources, the Vikram Lander fell at 180 degrees on lunar surface which mean only two of its legs landed on surface.
India's mission to soft-land on moon suffered a setback during the wee hours on Saturday, with Chandrayaan-2s Vikram module losing communication with ground stations, just 2.1 km from the lunar surface during its final descent.
The Vikram Lander followed the planned descent trajectory from its orbit of 35 km to just below 2 km above the surface.
After the landing operation, ISRO chief K Sivan had said that the orbiter will have a lifespan of over seven and a half years and that there is a possibility of finding Vikram lander from sophisticated instruments onboard the orbiter.
"The dual-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) on board the orbiter will be able to penetrate and see up to 10 metres of the sub-surface of the polar region and help us find penetrate and see up to 10 metres of the sub-surface of the polar region and help us find water ice. Its high-resolution camera can zoom up to 30cm, that is also a first in the world."
"And its advanced IR spectrometer (meant to measure spectral components of a physical phenomenon) can work up to 5 micron, instead of 3 micron that earlier ones had. These payloads will give a lot of data."