Not confirmed yet: Isro on Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram lying intact on Moon

The Indian Space Research Organisation has said it hasn’t yet confirmed information that the Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram is lying on the lunar surface in a single piece.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has refused to confirm a report that the Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram was lying ‘intact’ on the lunar surface days after it lost contact with Earth. Responding to a report, published by news agency Press Trust of India, the Isro chairman’s office told India Today TV, “What PTI has published isn’t confirmed. We haven’t confirmed it as well.” The clarification added that the space agency would provide an update as and when it had confirmation on Vikram’s fate.

Vikram went out of contact early Saturday morning while attempting to land near the south pole of the Moon. Vikram, which houses the six-wheeled Chadrayaan-2 rover Pragyaan, lost touch with the mission command centre in Bengaluru when it was just 2.1 km above the lunar surface.

Vikram going out of touch sent Isro into shock and the agency said it was analysing data to figure out what happened to the Chandrayaan-2 lander. On Sunday, Isro said it had managed to locate Vikram on the lunar surface.

Earlier today, news agency PTI published a report saying that Vikram was found to be in a “single piece” and was lying “tilted” on the lunar surface. The PTI report quoted an unnamed Isro official in its report. In a clarification, the Isro chairman’s office said that the information reported by PTI is not yet confirmed.

ORBITER SAFE

While Vikram’s fate remains unknown, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter continues to be safe in its orbit around the Moon. In fact, it was the orbiter that spotted Vikram on lunar surface on Sunday.

Isro is likely to use the orbiter to find about Vikram’s status. However, the agency does not have a lot of time — Vikram and the rover Pragyaan’s mission life is of just 14 days.

Two days have already passed since Vikram’s attempted landing on the Moon, leaving Isro with less than 12 days to either get in touch with the lander or figure out what happened to it.

WHAT HAPPENS TO CHANDRAYAAN-2 MISSION

Landing Vikram and Pragyaan on the Moon was just one part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission. A majority of the mission’s experiments are located on the orbiter, which is safe and is revolving around the Moon.

The orbiter will conduct eight experiments, more than Vikram and Pragyaan’s combined five. One of the experiments the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter will perform will be to estimate the quantity of frozen water present in the Moon’s south polar region.

The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter has a mission of a year and is expected to last its life.

Source: India Today

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