Chennai: Has the Indian moon lander Vikram been found or not is a question that the US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will soon be able to answer.
A NASA official had earlier told IANS in New York that October 14, its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) would fly over the site, where Vikram might have landed. The US space agency had earlier said its LRO had passed over the landing site of Vikram September 17 and acquired a set of high resolution images of the area.
However, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team was not able to locate or image the lander, NASA had said.
“It was dusk when the landing area was imaged and thus large shadows covered much of the terrain; it is possible that the Vikram lander is hiding in a shadow. The lighting will be favourable when LRO passes over the site in October and once again attempts to locate and image the lander,” NASA had said.
According to NASA, Vikram, attempted a landing on a small patch of lunar highland smooth plains between Simpelius N and Manzinus C craters.
This event was India’s first attempt at a soft landing on the Moon. The US agency said Vikram’s targeted landing site was located about 600 kilometers (370 miles) from the south pole in a relatively ancient terrain (70.8AoS latitude, 23.5AoE longitude).