New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday said that it has traced the exact location of lander ‘Vikram’, a day after it lost communication from the ground station in the last moments during soft landing on the moon surface.
“We’ve 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”, said K Sivan, ISRO chairman. This comes a day after Sivan said that ISRO will try to establish a link with the Vikram Lander for the next 14 days.
Notably, 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 moon mission suffered a setback when the Vikram lander lost its communication with the ground stations, just 2.1 km above the lunar surface. The landing, if successful, would have made India only the fourth country in the world to land a rover on the lunar surface.
Despite the setback, the Indian space agency had yesterday stated that 90 to 95 per cent of the mission objectives have been accomplished. The ISRO added that the orbiter will continue contributing to Lunar science, notwithstanding the loss of communication with the Lander.
“The Orbiter has already been placed in its intended orbit around the Moon and shall enrich our understanding of the moon’s evolution and mapping of the minerals and water molecules in the Polar Regions, using its eight state-of-the-art scientific instruments. The Orbiter camera is the highest resolution camera (0.3m) in any lunar mission so far and shall provide high-resolution images which will be immensely useful to the global scientific community,” a statement issued by the ISRO read.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while replying to celebrities from sports and film fraternity on Twiter, had said, “1.3 billion Indians are with ISRO. They make us proud from their resilience and spirit of exploration.”
Responding to ace tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi, PM Modi wrote, “For champions like ISRO and our sportspersons, there is no such thing as failure. There is only learning.”