ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 mission lost communication with the monitoring centre in Bengaluru on September 7 just before it was about to land on the surface of the Moon. It was a heart-breaking moment for the ISRO’s scientist especially chairman K Sivan who later announced that Chandrayaan 2’s Vikram module had been located on the lunar surface and it must have been a hard-landing.
The image of the lander went viral on the social media which was been touted as the image of Vikram lander. However, the viral images are fake, as pointed out by a space journalist, Jonathan O’Callaghan.
Vikram lander module of Chandrayaan-2 had lost communication with ground stations in the early hours of Saturday, when it was just 2.1 km from the lunar surface during its final descent.
If you use Google Reverse Search for the image, it will lead you to the Apollo 15 Landing site. Even a senior ISRO scientist told TOI that a thermal image may be possible in three days as "an orbiter takes three days to come to the same point’’.
However, ISRO scientist are leaving no stone unturned to re-establish connection with Vikram Lander. 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 point 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).
So much misinformation being shared about the #VikramLander at the moment. For one, this image being shared is not a picture of the lander. It is the Apollo 15 lunar landing site. pic.twitter.com/S6XYiDKafr— Jonathan O’Callaghan (@Astro_Jonny) September 8, 2019