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Chandrayaan 2: ISRO tweets, Vikram Lander located but no communication yet

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has located Chandrayaan 2‘s Vikram Landerbut has not been able to establish communication with it yet, said the space agency.

“#VikramLander has been located by the orbiter of #Chandrayaan2, but no communication with it yet,” ISRO tweeted on Tuesday.

The lander was making a “soft” or controlled landing near the South Pole of the moon on Saturday when it lost contact with ground control in the final stage of the descent.

Space experts said the lander may have come down faster than planned and crash-landed on the moon. “All possible efforts are being made to establish communication with lander,” the state-run space agency said on Twitter.

On Monday, ISRO informed Chandrayaan 2’s lander Vikram is unbroken but lying tilted on the surface of the Moon.

“The lander is there (on the Moon) as a single piece, not broken into pieces. It’s in a tilted position,” an ISRO official associated with the mission said.

Images sent by the orbiter’s on-board camera shows that though the lander hit the lunar surface hard while landing, it is still very close to the scheduled touchdown site.

“Unless and until everything is intact, it’s very difficult (to re-establish contact),” PTI quoted an unnamed ISRO official.

“Only if it had a soft landing, and if all systems functioned, could communication can be restored. Things are bleak,” the official said.

Earlier, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said that the space agency would try to restore link with the lander for 14 days. According to the ISRO, the orbiter will continue to circle the Moon for almost seven years, providing “high resolution images which will be immensely useful to the global scientific community”.

India is also preparing Gaganyaan, its first manned space mission, and wants to land a probe on Mars.

In 2014, India became only the fourth nation to put a satellite into orbit around the Red Planet, and in 2017 India’s space agency launched 104 satellites in a single mission.

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