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Chandrayaan 2 orbiter on track as window to relink with lander shrinks | india news



For the Indian Space Research Organization, it may be the last chance to establish some form of communication with the Chandrayaan 2 lander Vikram with a lunar night setting in the landing site by Saturday, plunging the temperatures to -180 degrees.

A national committee is still examining the cause of communication loss on September 7 during the powered descent phase.

The US space agency, which has a passive experiment on Chandrayaan 2 mission, is also trying to gather as much information about the mission . NASA scientists are in the process of analyzing data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that flew over Vikram lander's intended landing site on September 1

7.

During the 15 minutes of powered descent on September 7, Isro scientists lost contact with the lander just 2.1 km above the lunar surface, about two minutes before the landing maneuver was completed.

“The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) acquired images around the targeted landing site, but the exact location of the lander was not known the lander may not be in the camera field of view, ”said NASA officials in a statement to HT.

Watch: Chandrayaan 2: Lander Vikram located, attempting to establish contact [19659002]

Apart from not having the exact spot of the lander in the field of view of the camera, the chances of spotting the lander were further reduced due to the lighting conditions. At the time when the Nasa orbiter passed over the landing site it was a lunar dusk, with the sun low in the horizon the images had long shadows that might be hiding the lander.

“At the end of the day, the cameras on -board our own and Nasa's orbiter are trying to find an object that is just a couple of meters in dimension from a distance of nearly 100 km. That means it would be captured in just about four pixels, ”Jatan Mehta, a former science officer at TeamIndus, a Bangalore-based private company that aims to send a lander-rover to the moon.

The third part of the mission – the orbiter — going around the moon at about 100 km circular orbit is performing as expected and will keep collecting data for nearly 7 years.

“All orbiter payloads are powered and initial payload trials have been completed successfully. Performance of all orbiter payloads is satisfactory and they continue to perform scheduled science experiments to complete satisfaction, ”said a statement from ISRO.

This is the first official update from the Indian Space Agency after it announced that the orbiter had captured an image of the lander.

“Isro already has telemetry data, which has information on velocity, altitude, thrust etc, till about 2.1 km from the surface of the moon. The images taken by the orbiters will give details of the orientation of the lander, whether it was slightly damaged or parts were broken, the location and its deviation from the planned path will tell the scientists if the lander hits the lunar surface at a high velocity "Whether it spun out or what happened in the last moments," said Dr Nirupam Roy, assistant professor of physics at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.

First Published:
Sep 19, 2019 9:32 PM IST


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