Chandrayaan 2’s lander Vikram, that was supposed to soft land on the lunar surface on September 7 will now move towards a cold lunar night. The lander and its instruments will be frozen, observes ISRO.
Bengaluru: Indian Space Research Organisation is now preparing to bid farewell to Chandrayaan 2’s Vikram lander. The lander lies on a part of the moon where a cold night is fast approaching. Temperatures would drop below minus 200 degree celsius.
This means that even if Vikram had survived the landing on September 7, it would still be frozen out of operation during the cold night.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is yet to confirm Vikram's current status. But, in the last few days, the space agency has dropped hints that hopes for re-establishing communication with the Vikram lander, which houses the six-wheeled Pragyaan rover, have ended.
On Tuesday, ISRO had taken to Twitter to thank everyone for standing by the space agency. It even promised to "continue to keep going forward".
On Thursday, ISRO offered an update on the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, noting that the spacecraft was performing well in its orbit around the Moon and was carrying out its experiments.
The mission update had a mention of the Vikram lander: A national-level team of academicians and ISRO scientists were looking into why contact with the lander was lost.
And now, with hours to go before night fully descends on the part of the Moon where Vikram is, it probably is time to bid the lander goodbye.
On September 7, ISRO was preparing for the soft landing that seemed to be going according to plan. However, just minutes before the landing, a deafening silence gripped the control room and scientists looked visibly worried.
Finally, at 2:18 am, around 40 minutes after Vikram began its descent, ISRO chief K Sivan took to a microphone at the control centre and confirmed that contact with Vikram had been lost.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was witnessing the landing from Bengaluru encouraged the scientists saying all was not lost.
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Last Updated Sep 20, 2019, 9:28 AM IST