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Chandrayaan 2: ISRO’s Vikram Lander found! NASA releases image; see pic

Tarun Bhardwaj
Vikram Lander, Chandrayaan 2, NASA, ISRO, Vikram lander news, LRO, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Shanmuga Subramanian, Vikram lander found, vikram lander photo pic image

Vikram Lander of ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 news: American space agency NASA has located ISRO’s moon lander Vikram on the lunar south pole region. NASA, in a tweet, revealed that its satellite orbiting the Moon has found ISRO’s Vikram lander. Both agencies were searching for Vilram lander after it crashed on the lunar surface in September. Releasing an image taken by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), NASA showed the spot where Vikram lander hard-landed in the wee hours September 7 and its debris field. It showed parts of Vikram Lander scattered in over two dozen locations in an area spanning several kilometres.

NASA’s statement said that on September 26th it had released a mosaic image of the landing site and invited the public to search it for signs of the Vikram lander. NASA added that a person named Shanmuga Subramanian told NASA’s LRO project that he has positively identified the debris. The first piece of Vikram lander was found some 750 meters northwest of the main crash site.

Recently, replying to a question in the Parliament, the government of India revealed that Vikram lander of Chandrayaan 2 hard-landed due to a technical glitch. The reduction in the velocity of Vikram Lander during its descent was higher than what was intended. Jitendra Singh, the minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office told Lok Sabha that the during the first phase of Vikram’s descent from an altitude of 30 km to 7.4 km over lunar surface its velocity was reduced from 1,683 metres / second to 146 metres / second but during the second phase, called fine braking phase, the reduction in speed was more than designed parameters. Singh added that Vikram hard-landed some 500 meters away from the planned landing site.

ISRO’s ambitious Chandrayaan 2 mission was launched in July and the agency hoped to make India only the fourth country to successfully land a mission on Moon after the United States, Russia and China and the first ever to do so on the lunar south pole region.

However, Chandrayaan 2’s main spacecraft is still orbiting successfully around the moon. It separated from the Vikram lander five days before its landing. Vikram lander lost contact when it was just 2.1 km over the landing site. All efforts by ISRO to establish contact with the Vikram lander failed to yield any response. ISRO plans to continue its mission to land on Lunar surface with Chandrayaan 3, its next lunar mission which will be launch in a couple of years.