Bengaluru: With only seven days remaining with the ISRO to establish contact with Chandrayaan-2’s ‘Vikram’ lander, the officials from the space agency are losing hopes to restore the lost link with ‘Vikram’.
It must be noted that the moon will soon enter its night, and the temperature on the lunar surface will drop significantly (can do down to -200 degrees celsius). The rover was not designed to stand that low a temperature and hence, might get damaged. Therefore, the ISRO has to establish contact with the lander by September 21.
“Progressively, you can imagine that it becomes that much more difficult, with each passing hour, the available power on the battery gets drained out, and there won’t be anything left for it to power and operate”, an ISRO official told PTI.
“With every passing minute, the situation becomes worse only…less and less probable (to establish contact with Vikram”, he said.
“It looks more and more remote only”, the official said when asked if there was a slender chance of re-establishing the link.
A team at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network here has been desperately trying to restore the link with the lander.
“With the right orientation, it can still generate power and recharge batteries with solar panels. But it looks less and less probable, progressively,” the official said.
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 (to receive signals)”.
“Impact shock may have caused damage to the lander,” he claimed.
So far, the ISRO has not commented on the condition of the Chandrayaan-2 lander, even though, ISRO was able to capture a thermal image of lander Vikram.
Further, the space agency continues to remain silent as to the proximate cause for the moon lander tumbling and deviating from its original flight path on September 7 early morning.
On September 7, lander Vikram on its descent to soft-land on the Moon’s south polar region lost control and crash-landed snapping the communication links with scientists monitoring the mission from ISRO’s ground station.
India’s ambitious lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2 was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 22. On August 20, the ISRO successfully fired the liquid engine of Chandrayaan-2 and inserted the spacecraft in the lunar orbit from the earth orbit. On September 2, the Vikram lander successfully separated from the Orbiter to reach the lunar surface. However, on September 7, the mission suffered a setback when the Vikram lander lost its communication with the ground stations, just 2.1 km above the lunar surface.