NASA's lunar probe is going to photograph the Indian moon lander today
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) will fly over Chandrayaan 2’s landing site on the moon.
- LRO will try and capture images of the lunar lander, Vikram, on the Moon.
- The images might turn out a little blurry with sunlight depleting and only four days to go before the lunar night sets in.
According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Vikram isn’t broken — it’s only lying tilted on the lunar surface.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) will fly over Vikram’s landing site. The images of the lander will help ISRO figure out what went wrong — and what went right — with the Chandrayaan 2’s mission to soft land on the Moon.
ISRO also clicked images of the lunar lander, but the images were never released to the public. NASA’s images, on the other hand, will be shared with the public.
"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 Organisation," said Noah Petro, LRO's project scientist.
These images might come out a little blurry since Vikram has been incommunicado for ten days now. Sunlight is depleting with only four days to go before the lunar night sets in, which will last for two weeks.
These are also the last four days that ISRO has to establish communication with Vikram before it gets too cold for the lander to operate. The lander isn’t meant to survive temperatures that will dip to beyond -270 degrees Celsius.
NASA had already tried communicating with the lander a few days back when its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) beamed a radio frequency to the lander, in hopes of receiving a return signal from Vikram.
Chandrayaan 2 definitely reached the Moon but might have 'hard' news in store
IN PICS: All pictures clicked by Chandrayaan 2's lander — Vikram
Chandrayaan 2 loses contact with the lander in the final seconds of the descent to Moon's surface
Everything you need to know about Vikram, Chandrayaan 2's lander, as it lands on the Moon