Chandrayaan-2: Vikram Lander located on lunar surface

However, communication is yet to be established with Vikram, confirms ISRO chief K Sivan

PTI Photo

The Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter has located the Vikram Lander on the lunar surface, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan has confirmed. However, communication is yet to be established with Vikram, which had hard-landed early on Saturday morning. 

The Orbiter has relayed the first images of the Lander, and ISRO is expected to put them out any time soon. On Saturday evening, Sivan had said that the space agency was trying to re-establish the communication link with Vikram, and the attempt would continue for the next 14 days. 

The communication link failure just when the Lander was 2.1 km from the surface had thwarted ISRO's plan to make a soft-landing on the South Polar region of the Moon. That would have made India the first country to do so, an envious feat. 

The first image to be relayed by the Orbiter is expected to offer many clues as to what really happened, and if there is any chance of reviving the Lander mission. As per the plan, the Rover Pragyan was to roll out of the Lander, three hours and 15 minutes after impact. 

ISRO sources had indicated that the landing did not go as expected due to malfunctioning end-stage thrusters aboard the Lander. In all probability, the thrusters over-performed and the velocity could not be minimised on impact. 

For a successful landing, Vikram had to land on all its legs on a flat surface with a gradient, not more than 12 degrees. ISRO sources indicated that the Lander could have made an impact only with two legs. This would have seriously hampered the smooth roll-out of the Rover for a lunar surface probe last 14 Earth days. 

 

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