An overflight last week of the Chandrayaan 2 landing site on the moon by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has turned up no clear sign of the lost Indian lander. Another flyover with better lighting conditions is scheduled next month.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will try to locate India’s Vikram lander on the moon during a flyover of the landing site Tuesday. Indian space officials said they found the disabled spacecraft on the moon using the country’s own Chandrayaan 2 orbiter, but declined to release any images.
Ground teams lost communication with India’s first lunar landing mission moments before its scheduled touchdown on the moon Friday, and the robotic research craft apparently crashed during final descent.
Indian ground teams lost contact with a robotic lunar lander and rover minutes before their scheduled touchdown near the moon’s south pole. India was attempting to become the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the moon.
The Vikram lander, part of India’s Chandrayaan 2 mission launched in July, will attempt to land near the lunar south pole Friday and deploy a rover to conduct the first on-the-ground scientific surveys away from the moon’s equatorial regions.