Last hope to revive ‘Vikram’ lander ends tomorrow

NEW DELHI: The last hope to revive motionless Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander will end on Friday as the period of 14 Earth days or sunny days in the south pole region of Moon where the lander made a ‘hard-landing’ in the wee hours of September 7 will get over.

From Saturday onwards, 14 Earth nights will start in the south pole, which will witness freezing temperatures of over -240 degrees Celsius. In such extreme temperature, electronic components of the lander and ‘Pragyan’ rover housed within Vikram will most likely get damaged and the chance to energise the lander with solar energy will be lost.

Since September 7, Isro has been trying without success to establish contact with Vikram. Even Nasa has been sending radio frequency to Vikram with the help of its deep space network ground stations based in California, Madrid and Canberra, and making efforts to take images of the lander with its lunarcraft ‘Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’ circling the Moon’s orbit. But it seems the US space agency also did not get any positive response as no data or image has been made public.

With Vikram becoming the talking point in the country, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), in its latest tweet, thanked people for their continued support and emotional connect with the mission.

“Thank you for standing by us. We will continue to keep going forward — propelled by the hopes and dreams of Indians across the world!” it tweeted. A source in Isro said, “An expert panel will analyse what went wrong during the final descent of Vikram after the completion of 14 days on Friday.” He said, “The orbiter is in a excellent state.”

Even PM Narendra Modi, who had consoled an emotional Isro chairman K Sivan soon after the lander’s ‘hard-landing’, had advised Isro scientists not to get disheartened and move on.

After Friday, the focus will shift to Chandrayaan-2’s orbiter and the experiments conducted by its eight advanced instruments.

Isro will also turn its attention to a series of upcoming key missions like Aditya (sun) L-1, Venus or Shukrayaan, Gaganyaan or human spaceflight mission, Mangalyaan-2 (MOM-2), Indo-Japan (JAXA) joint lunar polar exploration, EXPOSat planetary exploration and indigenous space station programmes.

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