National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is helping ISRO to establish contact with the Vikram lander. NASA’s probe will fly over the landing site of lander Vikram on the Moon on Tuesday, September 17. We are expecting that new information will surface on Vikram lander once NASA’s probe flies over the landing side. Meanwhile Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been trying to establish contact with the lander since all communications snapped moments before the scheduled landing on September 7. Based on the data analysis it was found that Vikram lander at the last minute did a flip and resultantly collided with the moon’s surface at a really high speed due to reverse thrusters.
Not only information, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is also likely to release images of the lander Vikram, as mentioned in reports by US media. Noah Petro, LRO’s project scientist told spaceflightnow that NASA will share images to help ISRO’s analysis of the Chandrayaan 2 mission. “NASA will share any before and after flyover imagery of the area around the targeted Chandrayaan-2 Vikram lander landing site to support analysis by the Indian Space Research Organisation,” said Petro.
Earlier, NASA had also tried establishing contact with lander Vikram lying on the lunar surface. The agency’s Jet Propulsion laboratory had beamed a radio frequency to the lander to elicit a response trying to make contact after crucial part of Chandrayaan 2 didn’t go as planned. “NASA/JPL is trying to contact Vikram through its deep space network (DSN) as contractually agreed with ISRO,” a source had said.
As of now, it appears that ISRO is racing against the clock. There appears to be period of 14 days only to establish contact with Vikram lander and the window is closing really soon. The 14-day window started on September 7. The period is the only time the region will be exposed to the Sun’s rays, enabling the lander, fitted with solar panels, to operate. Beyond that period, it will be too cold for lander Vikram to operate.
NASA’s DSN lends a helping hand to both NASA and non-NASA missions that seek to explore the solar system.