Chandrayaan-2: ISRO continues attempt to communicate
The lander landed successfully and intact despite communications loss the lander selected aside in a different location than the preferred site and harder than intended. Why this should have happened is unclear- it could be due to reduced breaking capability and maybe the lander AI selected a closer location and a harder landing velocity to avoid running out of fuel. It seems to have managed this without damage. The lander didn’t crash. It lost communications 2km above surface, not at the surface, so communications was not lost due to surface intact. ISRO said it was a hard landing (i.e. harder than they intended) but the lander was intact.
The snag now remains the communication loss and what effect the sloped landing position– but this cannot be assessed further until and unless communication is re-established. This has to be done within the 14 day window (one moon day), as there isn’t enough power for more than that. Most of the mission requirements are to be carried out by the orbiter. This is the first moon orbiter equipped with ground penetrating synthetic aperture radar, which will allow mapping the depth and locations of subsurface water ice and other mineral strata on the moon.
The lander was not planned to do very much, and it can’t really cover very much distance in 14 days. It is more of a new technology demonstrator so the loss of that mission and is not the most important purpose of the mission, which is to map water ice and other mineral resources on the moon.
ISRO has been sending different commands every day, hoping to hear back from the lander
Vikram is equipped with three transponders and a phased array antenna- the dome type structure on top on it. The lander will have to use these to receive signals, decipher it and talk back.
Chennai: the Indian space Research Organization (ISRO) on Tuesday issued a statement that the agency is trying to establish contact with Chandrayaan-2 lander (Vikram), and that the orbiter has located it, giving out the same information its chairman K Sivan revealed on Sunday.
In a statement issued this morning ISRO said : “Vikram lander has been located by the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2
but no communication with it yet. All possible efforts are being made to establish communication with lander.”
It landed autonomously on the surface on a different location 500m from the first choice- the lander Al is designed to assess and select alternative landing sites if the first isn’t suitable.
On September 7, K Sivan, the chairman of ISRO, said that the orbiter could last up to seven years in orbit around the Moon against the previously announced one. By virtue of these features, the orbiter will ensure Chandrayaan 2 continues, and with a scientific mission that many expect to be rewarding.