Orbiter payloads powered, sending images: Isro chief
New Delhi: Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Thursday came out with the update on the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter’s health, saying “all payloads of the orbiter are powered. Initial trials for payloads have been completed successfully and performance of all payloads is satisfactory”.
Isro chairman K Sivan told TOI, “Payloads of the orbiter are operational. They have started sending images and scientists have to go through them.” There are eight advanced payloads on the orbiter that will do 3-D mapping of Moon and search for water ice and minerals in the south pole region.
On the Vikram lander, the Isro chief said, “A national-level committee comprising Isro experts and academic institutes are already working on to find out the exact reason of communication loss with Vikram (during the final descent on September 7). The panel will find the exact cause and the report will first be submitted to the PMO.”
Meanwhile US space agency Nasa says its lunarcraft ‘Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’ circling the Moon orbit has captured several images of the south pole but has not able to spot Vikram. LRO deputy project scientist John Keller shared a Nasa statement confirming that the LRO orbiter’s camera captured the images, according to a report in cnet.com. “The LROC team will analyse these new images and compare them to previous images to see if the lander is visible (it may be in shadow or outside the imaged area),” the statement read.
This isn’t LRO’s only shot at spotting Vikram. It will fly over again on October 14 when lighting conditions are expected to be better. Nasa said it will make the results of this week’s fly ov-er available as soon as possible.
The second shot for finding Vikram won’t help muchasSaturday onwards, 14 sunny days in the south pole region of Moon will get over and cold lunar nights will begin. During 14 night days, the south pole region will witness freezing temperatures of over -240 degrees Celsius. and the instruments aboard the lander are not designed to withstand that kind of temperature.
Nasa’s LRO orbiter took images of Moon’s south pole but failed to spot Vikram