NASA captures images of Chandrayaan-2’s Moon landing site

Live telecast of soft landing of Vikram module of Chandrayaan 2 on lunar surface in Bengaluru

The proposed mission life of the lander was only 14 days, or one lunar day, after which its solar-powered batteries would drain out.

All spacecraft parameters are normal, the Bengaluru headquartered space agency said after the maneuver on the spacecraft. As the deadline to re-establish communication with Chandrayaan 2's Vikram lander nears, NASA's Moon orbiter on Thursday captured images of the lunar region.

However, the photographs, which were taken in dim light, failed to reveal the fate of the Vikram lander.

The space agency has constituted a national committee, comprising of academicians and ISRO experts to analyse the cause of communication loss with the moon craft, ISRO said in a statement. Temperatures could drop to as low as short 200 degrees Celsius during the lunar night.

The orbiter carries eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and study the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon, while the lander carries three scientific payloads to conduct surface and subsurface science experiments. It has been nearly two weeks after Vikram Lander lost connection with ISRO's ground station.

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Lander Vikram lost communication with ISRO's ground station on September 7 during its final descent on the moon at 2.1 kms above the lunar surface. "We had planned for the payloads to operate for an entire lunar day, which was the mission life of Vikram and Pragyan", explained an ISRO scientist.

So, even if ISRO had managed to get signals from Vikram, the chances that it would have been able to instruct the lander were rather slim. India's second lunar expedition would shed light on a completely unexplored section of the Moon, its South Polar region.

The Rs 978 crore Chandrayaan-2 was launched on 22 July and successfully completed a course of the 45-day journey before the expected landing of its lander Vikram on the lunar surface.

ISRO further informed that the initial trials for orbiter payloads were completed successfully and the performance of all orbiter payloads was satisfactory.

A successful soft landing on the moon's surface would have made the country only the fourth - after the United States, Russia and China - to achieve the feat.

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