Along with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) is also making attempts to elicit a response from lander Vikram that is lying motionless on the Moon, according to media reports.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will share before and after images of the location where Chandrayaan 2’s ‘Vikram’ lander made a hard-landing, The New York Times reported.
“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 Organization,” NASA’s spokesman told the newspaper.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion laboratory has beamed a radio frequency to Vikram lander in order to establish contact. “NASA/JPL is trying to contact Vikram through its deep space network (DSN) as contractually agreed with ISRO,” NASA astronomer, Scott Tilley, told the Times of India.
NASA’s JPL has DSN ground stations in Goldstone, South California (US), Madrid (Spain) and Canberra (Australia). These stations are located 120 degrees apart and aim to establish contact with any satellite in deep space. Each site has a minimum of four antennae, from 25 metre to 70 metre in diameter. These antennae are capable of providing continuous radio communications with multiple satellites at the same time.
The images of the site could help ISRO with its analysis.
ISRO has so far not released any images of Vikram’s landing site even. Besides Chandrayaan 2’s own orbiter, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is also revolving around Moon. NASA’s orbiter is scheduled to pass over the region on September 17.
The connection between the orbiter and Vikram lander snapped on the early hours of September 7, which is when ISRO had planned its soft-landing on the lunar surface.
As the days pass, the hope of lander Vikram’s revival also diminishes because of the 14-day period. Fourteen days or one lunar day is all that the lander has to do its job as that’s the only period it will be exposed to the Sun’s rays. Thereafter, the solar panels will not be able to energize and it will be too cold for lander Vikram to operate.