Even as the Indians laid their hopes on NASA for another look at the Vikram lander, before the lunar night began, the US Space Agency stated that the lander may not have been within sight of the camera on board. its orbit.
NASA's Lunar Intelligence Orbit (LRO), which orbits about 10 months from the moon, passed over Vikram's landing spot on Tuesday. "The moon orbit camera (LROC) acquired images around the target landing site, but the exact location of the lander was unknown, so it may not be in the field of view of the camera," says Joshua Andal, Planetary Public Affairs Officer division, NASA, in email.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) lost contact with the lander of the second lunar mission in Chandrayan-2, minutes before the moon landed on September 7.
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The LROC team will compare the photos taken on September 17 with the previous site taken from it to see if the ground is visible. The results of the flight will be made publicly available after validation, analysis and review.
At the moment, the lunar twilight is where Vikram was supposed to make a soft landing on September 7th. This means that the sun is lower in the horizon with embossed features casting long shadows.
'The LRO flew over the area of the Vikram landing site on September 17, when local moonlight was near dusk; large shadows covered much of the area … This [the lander] may be in the shadows … ", said Hendal.
Experts agree that the LRO's chances of noticing the lander during the current overflight are slim." It will be difficult to find the land during the current overflight because the angle of the sun will be low, and if the farmer is close to any relief feature then the land will hide in its shade. a better chance of getting a good image of the land during its next transition, "says Jathan Mehta, would a fellow scientist at TeamIndus, a private company based in Bengaluru that aims to send a moon-to-moon lander.  NASA's orbit will again fly over the landing site on October 14, which will be near the lunar noon and
"LRO will fly over the landing site on October 14 when lighting conditions will be more favorable," Hendal said.
By then, all hopes of communication with the earth will be lost, since the moonlit night, which begins on September 21, will cause temperatures in the region to fall to -180 degrees. "After the moonlit night, there is absolutely no way to restore communication. The weaver had to conduct all the experiments during the lunar day and was not designed to withstand low temperatures," Mehta said.
NASA orbit flight over landing site does not help restore communication; this helps scientists understand what went wrong.
ISRO also made thermal images of the land just one day after landing that has not yet been released.
"Images taken by his own arbiter and that of NASA will help ISRO reconstruct what happened on September 7th. ISRO has telemetry data that has information on speed, altitude, thrust, etc. up to about 2.1 km from the moon's surface. The orientation of the land, whether it is slightly damaged or parts are broken, its location and deviation from the planned path will tell scientists whether the lander hit the moon at high speed, rotated or what happened in recent times, "he said Dr. Nirupam Roy, Assistant Professor in Physics at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
NASA orbit data will also be based on images from the Chandrayaan 2 orbit.
"The LRO is also in polar orbit, exactly like the Chandrayaan 2 orbit, which means that It is able to see the landing every 14 days for two to three days, depending on the field of vision of the camera. LRO data will prove useful as they will be able to see the landing place closer to lunch. Chandrayaan 2, on the other hand, was fired to reach the landing spot at the beginning of the lunar day, which means that each time it passes the landing site, it will be either dawn or dusk when there are longer shadows "Said Roy.
September 18, 2019 11:53 PM IST