New pictures from a NASA spacecraft show the targeted landing site of the Vikram rover, but failed to pinpoint its precise location. The images shared by NASA were taken at dusk, and were not able to locate the lander.
Chandrayaan-2 was due to touch down at the lunar South Pole on 7 September, over a month after it first took off.
It approached the Moon as normal until an error occurred about 2.1km (1.3 miles) from the surface.
India would’ve have been the fourth nation to make a soft landing on the Moon, if everything went as per plan.
On Friday, Nasa tweeted the images of the targeted landing site of the Indian module.
Our @LRO_NASA mission imaged the targeted landing site of India’s Chandrayaan-2 lander, Vikram. The images were taken at dusk, and the team was not able to locate the lander. More images will be taken in October during a flyby in favorable lighting. More: https://t.co/1bMVGRKslp pic.twitter.com/kqTp3GkwuM
— NASA (@NASA) September 26, 2019
Nasa said the targeted site was located about 600km (370 miles) from the South Pole in a “relatively ancient terrain”.
“Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) passed over the landing site on 17 September and acquired a set of high resolution images of the area; so far the team has not been able to locate or image the lander,” the space agency said in a statement.
“It was dusk when the landing area was imaged and thus large shadows covered much of the terrain; it is possible that the Vikram lander is hiding in a shadow. The lighting will be favorable when LRO passes over the site in October and once again attempts to locate and image the lander.”
India’s first Moon mission – Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 – carried out the first and most detailed search for water on the lunar surface using radars.
Meanwhile, Chandrayaan-2 ‘s orbitor is performing all its functions normally orbiting around the moon. The chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation dubbed the mission to be 98 percent successful after the lander, Vikram crashed onto the surface of the moon.
Source : Various