Chandrayaan-2: Vikram Lander Intact But Titled, ISRO Making All-Out Efforts To Restore Link

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 09 September 2019, 02:48 PM
India's moon mission suffered a setback when 'Vikram' lander lost communication during the soft-landing (Representative image)
India's moon mission suffered a setback when 'Vikram' lander lost communication during the soft-landing (Representative image)
HIGHLIGHTS
    • The good news is that the 'Vikram' is intact even after hard landing
    • The mission life of the lander and rover is one Lunar day i.e. 14 earth days
    • ISRO would try to restore link with the lander for these 14 days

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is continuing to make all-out efforts to establish link with Chandrayaan-2's 'Vikram' lander. While it won't be easy to establish communication link with the lander, ISRO scientists have not lost hope.

ISRO Chairman K Sivan had said on Saturday that the space agency would try to restore link with the lander for 14 days, and reiterated the resolve on Sunday after the orbiter's camera spotted it on the Lunar surface.

Vikram, with rover 'Pragyan' housed inside it, hit the lunar surface after communication with the ground-stations was lost during its final descent, just 2.1 km above the lunar surface, in the early hours of Saturday.

"We are making all-out efforts to see whether communication can be re-established with the lander," another ISRO official told PTI.

"An ISRO team is the on the job at ISROTelemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC)."

The mission life of the lander and rover is one Lunar day, which is equal to 14 earth days.

What Are The Chances

 The chances of getting Vikram back are dim but not totally bleak. The good news for ISRO is that the lander is intact even after a hard landing.

"It had a hard-landing very close to the planned (touch-down) site as per the images sent by the on-board camera of the orbiter. The lander is there as a single piece, not broken into pieces. It's in a tilted position," an ISRO official associated with the mission claimed on Monday.

For the lander, generating power is not an issue, as it has "solar panels all around it" and it also has "internal batteries" which "are not used much."

In the best case scenario, it is possible that some of the instruments on the lander are functional. However, even if the lander and the rover are intact, they would not be able to transmit any scientific data without any communication.

It is also possible that two-way communication can be re-established with them from the ground station and they are revived.

Re-establishing Link Not Easy

The task of re-establshing communication with Vikram lander is not an easy on. 

An ISRO official said: "Unless and until everything is intact [lander], it's very difficult [to re-establish contact]. Chances are less. Only if it had soft-landing, and if all systems functioned, then only communication can be restored."

"I will rate it (restoring link) as good," another senior official of the space agency said, raising hope that lander springing to life again is not ruled out.

"But there are limitations. We have experience of recovering spacecraft (which had lost contact) in geostationary orbit. But here (in the case of Vikram), that kind of operational flexibility is not there. Already it's lying on the surface of the Moon, and we cannot reorient it. Vital thing is antennas will have to pointed towards the ground station or the orbiter. Such operation is extremely difficult. At the same time, chances are good and we will have to keep our fingers crossed," the official said.

Vikram carried three payloads Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA), Chandra's Surface Thermo-physical Experiment (ChaSTE) and Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA).

(With PTI Inputs)

First Published: Monday, September 09, 2019 01:57 PM
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