National

ISRO silent on NASA pictures of Vikram

Deep impact: A mosaic of the impact site of the Vikram lander found by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. PTI

Deep impact: A mosaic of the impact site of the Vikram lander found by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. PTI  

more-in

Latest information debunks theories of lander having reached lunar surface intact

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has not commented on Monday’s disclosure by the U.S. space agency NASA of information and pictures about India’s moon lander Vikram that disappeared from the radar tracking screen on September 7.

The pictures of debris at the crash site and of the lander itself puts paid to claims in some quarters that Vikram had landed bodily ‘intact’ and in a ‘tilted manner’.

The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is working and has a camera with a very high resolution; it is believed to have sent out pictures of Vikram’s crash site. However, except for sketchy information, ISRO has shied away from sharing its own analysis of the crash.

Until now, the images from NASA’s sharp-eyed LRO or the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter could not distinctly locate the lander Vikram or its splinters. For one, the evening light on the moon was poor when the orbiter flew over the crash site close to the lunar south pole; and second, the camera angles at that time did not help much.

NASA’s sharp-eyed LRO or the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been orbiting and scanning the moon since September 2009. It went over the crash site thrice since the Indian lander disappeared — on September 17, October 14-15 and on November 11.

In the new image, NASA’s team has identified about 20 impact points where the debris may have fallen; along with a few spots where the lunar ‘soil’ or regolith was disturbed due to impact of the debris.

NASA acknowledged that independent space watcher Shanmuga Subramanian had first alerted it (on October 3) about finding a potential impact point that was well beyond the area that was being scanned by many until then. Based on his input, its LRO Camera (LROC) team expanded the combing area and zeroed in on the other debris spots.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 10:21:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/isro-silent-on-nasa-pictures-of-vikram/article30152586.ece

Next Story