ISRO chief Dr. K Sivan has now confirmed to PTI that the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter has clicked a thermal image of the Vikram lander, with which the ground team lost communication during the final minutes of descent yesterday. Sources within the space agency have also mentioned, that the lander and rover are reportedly intact.
According to media reports coming in, apart from thermal images, Chandrayaan-2’s high resolution camera has also spotted the lander. The camera can go as deep as 30 cms in the lunar surface. According to images taken, it seems the lander is intact but communication is still lost.
ISRO says that is continuing to try to establish a connection with the lander. However, as time passes by, it becomes more and more difficult to establish a connection. Also, since it is suspected that the rover had a hard landing on the lunar surface, that seems to have disturbed the orientation that was required to have communication with the lander.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief, K Sivan to ANI:We've found the location of #VikramLander on lunar surface&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. #Chandrayaan2 pic.twitter.com/1MbIL0VQCo
— ANI (@ANI) 8 September 2019
“Yes, we have located the lander on the Lunar surface. It must have been a hard-landing,” Dr Sivan said, adding that it was unclear at this stage if the lander had been damaged.
News agency ANI quoted Dr Sivan as saying the lunar orbiter had taken a thermal image of the lander.
“… 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,” he was quoted as saying.
Earlier yesterday, ISRO chief announced that due to the ample amount of fuel left in the orbiter, the mission life of Chandrayaan 2 has been extended to a whopping 7 years, as compared with the planned 1 year life cycle. During this time, the orbiter is expected to do detailed study of the lunar surface and its atmosphere and give valuable data in terms of mineral composition and presence of water to scientific community globally.
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