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The Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO is still looking into what really went wrong during the final moments of the landing. All communications with the Chandrayaan-2 lander (Vikram) broke during the final landing at the south pole of the moon. When the communications with Vikram broke down, the lander was just 2.1 KMs above the lunar surface. If everything went right it should have taken just three more minutes to reach the south pole of the moon.
Chandrayaan-2: Vikram Lander Spotted
However, as it looks now there could be still small hopes of recovering the lander. ISRO has announced that it has found the Vikram lander on the lunar surface. The lander was spotted in one of the photos sent by the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter that is currently orbiting the moon. Here is what ISRO chairman K Sivan said,
We’ve got the image of Vikram on the lunar surface from our orbiter. We are analyzing the data
As per another official, “The lander seems to have hit the lunar surface and is in an upturned position”. The official also thinks that the lander is probably not in working condition after the crash landing. Till now, there are no communications with the Vikram lander.
The failure analysis committee (FAC) of ISRO is currently looking into what caused the lander to misbehave during the final moments. As per initial reports, a possible over the performance of the thrust could be the cause. Other possibilities include a more than optimal horizontal velocity which could have caused the lander to spin out of control. The moment Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander lost connection, ISRO searched for links NASA’s deep space network center situated in Madrid and the Indian station in Mauritius.
The lunar orbiter which is successfully in the orbit of the moon will now be operational for seven years and will provide help in understanding the moon’s evolution.