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Moon lander Vikram located, says ISRO chief
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Moon lander Vikram located, says ISRO chief

S Murari

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan on Sunday said Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram, which lost contact with the earth when it was about to land, had been located on moon’s surface and the ground station was working to establish contact.

Sivan told ANI news agency: "We've found the location of Vikram lander on lunar surface and orbiter has clicked a thermal image of the lander . But there is no communication yet. We are trying to have contact."

Communication with Vikram lander was lost in the early hours of Saturday, moments before its planned landing on the south pole region of the moon. Sivan had then said Vikram was just 2.1 km above the moon surface when communication was lost.

It was an anti-climax to a journey of over 3 lakh km to the moon which Chandrayaan-2 began on July 22 from Sriharikota.

Vikram was programmed to have an earth life of 14 days which is equal to one day on the moon.  Already a little over one day has gone by. ISRO has another 12 days to re-establish with the lost lander.

The monitor, which has sent the thermal image, has a life of one year and it is designed to communicate with the Vikram lander as well as with the Indian Deep Space Network in Bayalalu in surburban Bengaluru.

The fact that it has transmitted the image to the ground station shows it is in good shape despite Vikram probably crash-landing on the moon. It can hopefully continue to send images of the moon’s surface as also the lander.