NASA LRO Fails to Detect India’s Vikram Lander on the Lunar Surface

by Ernest Thomas
NASA LRO Fails to Detect India’s Vikram Lander on the Lunar Surface

It has passed around fourteen days since India’s Chandrayaan-2 moon lander crash-landed on the lunar surface. Besides, ISRO, the Indian space agency, had lost contact with the probe. Last week, NASA said it would help out India by focusing the suspected crash site with its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). It was expected that a clear image from NASA’s lander could offer some additional data. Even more, the information might assist the Indian Space Research Organization to opt for new ways. But despite having powerful cameras, LRO could not spot the lander and crash site. It is a misfortune, and as times passes, India is losing hopes of rescuing the mission.

Reportedly, LRO’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Instrument (LROC) captured the targeted south pole landing site of the lander. But it failed; maybe shadows in the region are obstructing the silent Vikram lander. As per NASA, the area is preparing to transit from fourteen-days long lunar day to similar long lunar night. Thus shadows have covered most of the region. The American space agency notes, probably Vikram may not be in the visual field of LROC. Apart from this, during the flyover of the area, the local lunar time was close to dusk. As a result, the region had less light or low brightness which has resulted in other issues like difficulty in clicking pictures.

Currently, there has been a doubt about the landing site of Vikram. Officials are unsure whether the probe crashed or may have touched the lunar surface with less or greater intact. As of today, ISRO has not gained success to build contact with the lunar lander. It seems like, the lander has undergone severe damage, even if ISRO claims its presence in a single piece. Well, this is not the only flyover of LRO. In the mid of the upcoming month, it will once again fly over the region when the region might have better light. NASA said it would soon release the results of current weeks LRO flyover.

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