A NASA satellite orbiting the Moon has found India’s Vikram lander which crashed on the lunar surface in September. (Photo Credit: NASA-Twitter)
A NASA satellite orbiting the Moon has found India’s Vikram lander which crashed on the lunar surface in September, the US space agency has said. In a statement, NASA said it released a mosaic image of the site on September 26, inviting the public to search it for signs of the lander. It added that a person named Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with a positive identification of debris—with the first piece found about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site.
NASA released an image taken by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that showed the site of the spacecraft’s impact (September 6 in India and September 7 in the US) and associated debris field, with parts scattered over almost two dozen locations spanning several kilometres.
On September 7, the ISRO’s ambitions to touch down the south pole of the Moon faced a technical glitch after the space agency lost contact from Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander moments before landing on lunar surface. As soon as the fine braking phase started, the Vikram lander suddenly deviated from its path and stopped sending data back to the ground control.
Launched on July 22, Chandrayaan-2 entered the Moon's orbit on 20 August, a month after take-off. The touchdown of Vikram lander was scheduled between 1:30 am and 2:30 am, followed by the rollout of its rover named ‘Pragyaan’ between 5:30 am and 6.30 am.
Meanwhile, latest reports say that the agency is preparing for Chandrayaan-3 to land on Moon by November next year. ISRO officials had told News Nation that no final decision has been taken yet and various things are under discussion. However, what gives credence to the November, 2020 launch date is the fact that ISRO officials said that the agency will be ready for another Moon Mission ‘by the end of 2020.’
Chandrayaan 3 will be part of ISRO’s crucial lunar operations. It all started in 2008 when Chandrayaan 1 successfully dropped ‘Moon Impact Probe’ on the surface of the Earth’s natural satellite. Chandrayaan 2, instead of planned soft landing, went for hard landing and landed Vikram lander on lunar surface. News Nation is also privy to information that within ISRO, some senior scientists are not with the decision to go for launch in November.