Houston: US space agency NASA is analysing, certifying and reviewing photographs taken by the moon orbiter of India’s Chandrayaan-2 mission of the part of the earth’s natural satellite where Vikram had attempted to make a soft landing. A project scientist of the US space agency has spoken to the media about it.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft of NASA took several pictures while passing through the spot where the Vikram attempted to land near the hitherto undiscovered south pole of the moon. LRO deputy project scientist John Keller shared a NASA statement confirming that the orbiter’s camera had taken pictures of the spot.
“The LROC team will analyse these new photos and compare them to the older photos to see if the lander is visible (whether it is in the shadows or outside the area caught by the photo),” senate[dot]com quoted Kelly as saying.
The report stated that NASA was analysing, authenticating and reviewing these images. It was evening time on the moon when the orbiter covered that face of the satellite. This means that most of the area would have been under the shadows.
On 7 September, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s attempt to make a soft landing on the lunar surface with the Vikram module of Chandrayaan-2 could not be executed as per the plan. The lander lost contact with the ground centres at the last moment, 2.1 km from the surface of the moon’s south pole.
A NASA spokesperson had earlier said that the American space agency would share ‘before and after’ photographs of the target area of Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Lander to analyse ISRO’s work.
If Vikram had succeeded in making a soft landing, the rover Pragyan would have come out of it and carried out certain experiments on the lunar surface. The lifespan of Pragyan was equal to a lunar day, that is 14 days of earth, as explained earlier. That period is over.