India’s Moon mission lander spotted on lunar surface

New Delhi: India’s Moon mission Chandrayaan-2’s lander module has been located on the lunar surface a day after it lost contact with the ground station while attempting to land on the Moon, a space agency official said Sunday.
It is not yet clear what the condition of the lander is and communications with it have not yet been established, the Indian space Research Organisation (ISRO) official said.
ISRO’s ground station lost contact with the Vikram lander minutes before its scheduled soft landing early Saturday in a previously unexplored region near the Moon’s South Pole.
The lander was located with the help of the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter,which was successfully placed in an orbit around the Moon and hasbeen transmitting images to ISRO’s tracking centre in Bengaluru.
The orbiter has sent a thermal image of the lander, ISRO ChairmanKailasavadivoo Sivan was quoted as saying by state-run broadcaster Doordarshan.
The Chandrayaan-2 Moon mission – which included an orbiter, the lander and a rover contained in the lander – was launched on aGSLV-Mark 3 rocket from southern India on July 22. Chandrayaan means”Moon vehicle” in Sanskrit.
The launch and other phases of the mission, including the separation of the orbiter and lander on September 2, were carried out successfully but the attempt to touch down, a first exercise of its kind for ISRO, went awry due to the loss of signals.
The lander and the rover were supposed to carry out 14 days of experiments to map the lunar surface, analyze its composition and search for water.
ISRO has said it had achieved 90 to 95 per cent of its mission objectives. DPA

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