NASA captures images of Chandrayaan-2's Moon landing site

Last hope for ISRO as it races against time

NASA captures images of Chandrayaan-2's Moon landing site

Moreoever, the landing module comprising of Vikram and rover Pragyaan housed inside it, were created to operate only for one lunar day, which is 14 Earth days from their day of their soft-landing. "The fund Isro receives from the government is 1/10th of what space agencies in the US, Europe and China get from their governments".

Last week, Spaceflight Now reported that NASA would use its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to locate India's Vikram lander that crashed on the moon during landing.

The lander Vikram and rover Pragyan are supposed to be functional only for 14 days from the day of their touchdown.

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Since then, the ISRO and NASA have been making all-out efforts to get in touch with the Vikram Lander with the help of their Earth-based space antennas. On September 2, Vikram separated from the orbiter. The temperature during a lunar night can drop massively and might go as low as minus 200 degrees Celcius, especially in the southern region where Vikram is stated.

The lander was, however, spotted on the surface of the Moon, by the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter, which is now circling the Moon.

The bleak hope that Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had of trying to establish contact with the lander of its Chandrayaan 2 mission has fizzled out with the lunar night descending over the region of the moon where the lander crashed on September 7. It was near lunar dusk when the orbiter passed over, meaning large parts of the area were in shadow, the report said.

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"The very reason why we had planned the lander and rover's mission during the lunar day was because of this. The orbiter continues to perform scheduled science experiments to complete satisfaction", ISRO said in an update on its website.

In a major milestone for India's second Moon mission, the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft had successfully entered the lunar orbit on August 20 by performing Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre. The cost of Chandrayaan-2 mission is estimated to be Rs 603 crore and the cost of GSLV MK-III launch vehicle is Rs 375 crore.

In Thursday's statement, ISRO said all the payloads on the orbiter - 8 - were "powered" and that initial trials had been "completed successfully".

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