NASA says India’s Moon mission made hard landing
The U.S. space Agency on Friday said India’s Chandrayaan-2 moon mission’s lunar Lander Vikram had a “hard landing” on the lunar surface on Sept. 7.
NASA said Vikram had a hard landing and the precise location of the spacecraft in the lunar highlands is yet to be determined.
NASA added that it has released images of the scheduled landing site captured by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
A successful soft or controlled landing on the Moon’s surface would have made India the fourth country to have done so after the U.S., Russia and China.
The two modules were to have carried out experiments in a previously unexplored region of the Moon.
The ground station of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bengaluru lost contact with the Lander minutes before the scheduled landing.
The NASA orbiter passed over the landing site on Sept. 17.
“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.’’
NASA said it orbiter would try to locate and image the Lander again in October when the lighting would be favourable.
The image was a small patch of smooth plains between two craters in the lunar highland about 600 kilometres from the Moon’s South Pole.
ISRO on Thursday said a national-level committee comprising academicians and ISRO experts were analysing the cause of loss of communications with the Lander.