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NASA orbiter fails to capture image of Vikram Lander

Friday, September 20, 2019 • Tamil Comments
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NASA orbiter fails to capture image of Vikram Lander

During the descent to the lunar surface on September 7, ISRO lost communications with the Vikram lander and the space agency has been trying to establish contact with the lander for the past ten days.

The lander was, however, spotted on the surface of the Moon, by the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter, which is currently circling the Moon. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)*, which is operated by USA's NASA flew over the lander's site on the Moon and attempted to capture photographs of it on September 17. This was expected to determine the fate of the spacecraft.

However, the LRO failed to capture images of the lander after passing over its landing site. "The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) acquired images around the targeted landing site, but the exact location of the lander was not known so the lander may not be in the camera field of view," a NASA official reportedly said.

In a major breakthrough for India's second lunar exploration mission, Chandrayaan 2 successfully entered the Moon's orbit on August 20 at 9.02 am after 30 days of journey in space.

*Nasa's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is part of an exploration-cum-science mission which was launched in 2009. The LRO's primary mission is mapping the lunar surface to identify sites for future robot and human missions to the Moon, according to a report.

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