ISRO has 14 days to contact Chandrayaan 2's 'tilted' but intact lander
- Officials at the
Indian Space Research Organisationclaim that Chandrayaan 2's lunar lander, Vikram, is still intact — but it's tilted.
- ISRO has 14 days to re-establish contact with the lander before the lunar night sets in.
- ISRO chairman K Sivan stated, "It was a hard landing."
But, rather than landing in an upright position, the lander is 'tilted', according to the image captured by the orbiter's Terrain Mapping Camera-2 ( TMC-2).
"The lander is there as a single piece, not broken into pieces. It's in a tilted position," an official from ISRO told PTI.
Can't move the lander
With other spacecrafts, it's possible to reorient them. Vikram, on the other hand, has already landed and there's no way to get it back off the ground.
"It must have been a hard landing," ISRO Chairman K Sivan told reporters on Sunday.
But ISRO isn't ruling out the possibility of establishing communications with Vikram. They just need the antennas onboard the lander to either point towards the ground station or the orbiter in order to send or receive signals.
"Such operation is extremely difficult. At the same time, chances are good and we will have to keep our fingers crossed," stated the ISRO official.
On a 14 day deadline
ISRO has 14 days to re-establish contact with Vikram before the lunar night sets in for another 14 days. The longer they wait, the higher the probability of losing Vikram altogether.
The reason being that Vikram is primarily powered using solar panels. Without the sun to generate energy, the lander won't be able to operate.
Vikram has internal batteries as well, but they're reportedly "not used much".
The lander being knocked out also bears bad news for its payloads and the rover, Pragyaan, which is currently boxed up inside Vikram.
Pragyaan can only exclusively send signals to the lander, which has the capability to relay information back to Earth. Hence, loss of communication with the lander automatically implies loss of communication with Pragyaan.
Everything you need to know about Vikram, Chandrayaan 2's lander, as it lands on the Moon
IN PICS: All pictures clicked by Chandrayaan 2's lander — Vikram
Chandrayaan 2 definitely reached the Moon but might have 'hard' news in store