Nellore: India had bittersweet news on Sunday, when Isro chairman Dr K. Sivan said the lander had been spotted but it must have been a hard landing that rendered it silent.
The Vikram lander, when stopped responding to signals just 2.1 km from the target on Saturday, was spotted by the Chadrayaan-2 orbiter which is in good health and functioning normally. Isro has not yet put out the picture of the lander nor has given an update on its status.
“We have found the location of the Vikram lander on lunar surface and (the) orbiter has clicked a thermal image of the lander. But there is no communication yet. We are trying to have contact. It will be communicated soon,” the Isro chief told the news agency ANI.
“We have spotted the lander on the lunar surface and it must have been a hard-landing,” Dr Sivan said.
Dr Sivan was quoted on PTI saying the scientists do not know if any damage had been caused to the lander. Other scientists not ruled out the possibility. They said they would have to analyse the data to find out the status of the lander, and the reason for it going off course so close to home.
Scientists have not ruled out the possibility of an anomaly with respect to velocity while landing and the lander not landing on its four legs.
Dr Sivan had said on Saturday that the space agency would try to reestablish links with the lander for 14 days, which is the lifetime of the mission. He said that the effort would continue after it was spotted on the lunar surface by Chandra-yaan-2’s on-board cameras.
According to Isro, 95 per cent of the Chandrayaan-2 mission objectives can be accomplished with the orbiter.
Speaking to Doordar-shan on Saturday, Dr Sivan had blamed faulty execution of the last stage of the operation for the loss of communication. “The last part of the operation was not executed in the right manner. It was in that phase that we lost link with the lander, and could not establish contact subsequently,” he said.
Former Isro chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar noted that there are hundreds and thousands of variations that were possible for the soft-landing mission. “We appreciate that the country and people were able to actually take note of this and continue to give their support. So, its very positive. We are grateful to the entire country,” he said....