It has been nearly 10 days since the Indian Space Research Organisation lost contact with Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander during its descent on to the surface of the Moon. And, hope for re-establishing contact with the Vikram lander is fading fast.
According to India Today, When Vikram attempted its Moon landing in the early hours of September 7, it was the beginning of the lunar day. One lunar day, which was the span of Vikram and its rover Pragyaan’s mission life, is equal to around 14 Earth days. What this means is that by September 20-21, the night will have descended on the part of the Moon where Vikram is currently located. And with no sunlight to power Vikram, the Chandrayaan-2 lander will likely go silent forever.
Initially, everything went according to plan. The Chandrayaan-2 drastically reduced its speed as it began lowering its attitude. Around 10 minutes after Vikram began its descent, and the ISRO confirmed that contact with Vikram has been lost. Since then, the Indian Space Research Organisation has been making all-out efforts to re-establish communication with the Vikram lander. Nasa’s DSN has been sending signals to the Chandrayaan-2 lander. However, Vikram has not been responding to those signals.
Reportedly, ISRO now has around four days to get back in touch with Viram. And while the agency awaits a crucial update from Nasa’s lunar orbiter, even that may not be enough. The Chandrayaan-2 mission will more or less remain on the course thanks to the orbiter, which is currently revolving around the Moon.