23 Oct 2019
NASA orbiter fails to locate Vikram Lander, again
NASA's second attempt to locate India's Vikram Lander on the Moon's surface has gone in vain.
The American space agency had recently conducted a flyby over Vikram's targeted landing site in hopes of photographing it.
But, much to the disappointment of millions of Indians, the image data couldn't capture any sign of the lost contraption.
Here's all about it.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter flew over Vikram's landing site
On October 14, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter flew over the region where Vikram was supposed to land and took a series of photographs.
When this data was analyzed, the obiter's camera team couldn't find a single evidence of the Lander.
They even tried looking for differences by comparing the latest shots with those taken before Vikram's landing, but nothing came up.
It must be hiding behind long shadows
Though NASA hasn't shared the photos from the flyby yet, the update, given by LRO Project Scientist Noah Edward Petro seems to indicate that Vikram could be hiding somewhere.
In a statement to PTI, John Keller, the Deputy Project Scientist for LRO mission, claimed that Vikram could be "located in a shadow or outside of the search area."
This was NASA's second attempt to photograph Vikram
To recall, this was NASA's second attempt to photograph Vikram's landing site.
The first flyby took place on September 17 when it was dusk in the region, leading the agency to posit that the Lander may be hiding behind long shadows.
This time it wasn't dusk, but Keller reasons that "the area is never completely free of shadows."
Chances of Vikram's survival unlikely
Since then, the agency made numerous attempts to establish contact with the Lander - to no success.
Now, Vikram is presumed dead as its components were never built to survive extremely cold lunar nights.