GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — The Chandrayaan-2 lander, Vikram, attempted a landing Sept. 7 (Sept. 6 in the United States), on a small patch of lunar highland smooth plains between Simpelius N and Manzinus C craters. Vikram had a hard landing and the precise location of the spacecraft in the lunar highlands has yet to be determined.
The lander, Vikram, was scheduled to touch down on Sept. 6 at 4:24 pm Eastern Daylight Time. This event was India’s first attempt at a soft landing on the Moon. The site was located about 600 kilometers (370 miles) from the south pole in a relatively ancient terrain (70.8°S latitude, 23.5°E longitude). In order to visualize the site, take a quick fly-around.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) passed over the landing site on Sept. 17 and acquired a set of high resolution images of the area; so far the LROC team has not been able to locate or image the lander. 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 favorable when LRO passes over the site in October and once again attempts to locate and image the lander.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Joint Statement on Cooperation in Lunar Exploration
During their September 24, 2019, meeting at JAXA Headquarters in Tokyo, NASA Administrator James Bridenstine and JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa welcomed the ongoing engagement between their agencies to realize JAXA’s participation in NASA’s Artemis program and vision for the participation of Japanese astronauts in lunar exploration.
Well, it’s not the famous winter of Game of Thrones, but the 14-day lunar night has arrived where India’s Vikram lander and Pragyan rover made what IRSO officials have called a “hard landing” two weeks ago with no communication between them and ground controllers.
Since neither vehicle was designed to survive the frigid temperatures of the lunar night, the Indian space agency has called it a day in a rather bare bones announcement.
ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2’s orbiter has spotted the Vikram lander in the surface of the moon, but it’s not looking very good.
“Yes, we have located the lander on the lunar surface. It must have been a hard landing,” Sivan told PTI….
Asked if the lander was “damaged” during the “hard landing”, Sivan said: “That we do not know.”
Sivan had said on Saturday that the space agency would try to establish link with the lander for 14 days and reiterated on Sunday after it was located on the lunar surface by Chandrayaan-2’s on-board cameras that those efforts would continue.
Fourteen days is the length of a lunar day. The lander and the Pragyan rover it carried are not designed to survive the frigid cold of the lunar night.
The Vikram lander stopped communicating with ground controllers as it descended toward a landing near the moon’s south pole. ISRO said the loss of communications occurred less than 2 km (1.25 miles) above the surface.
Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second mission to the moon and first attempt to land a payload on the surface.
ISRO has provided an update on its failed attempt to place Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander and Pragyan rover on the moon:
“The Vikram Lander followed the planned descent trajectory from its orbit of 35 km to just below 2 km [1.25 miles] above the surface. All the systems and sensors of the Lander functioned excellently until this point and proved many new technologies such as variable thrust propulsion technology used in the Lander.
The success criteria was defined for each and every phase of the mission and till date 90 to 95% of the mission objectives have been accomplished and will continue contribute to Lunar science , notwithstanding the loss of communication with the Lander.
ISRO stressed that the Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter continues to circle the moon and is expected to return a wealth of scientific data:
India’s first attempt to place a lander and a rover on the surface of the moon might have failed on Friday.
ISRO officials say that descent operations of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander were normal until it reached 2.1 km above the landing spot near the south pole before all telemetry ceased. ISRO said it is evaluating the data.
It is not clear whether the lander crashed along with its Pragyar rover or if there was a communications glitch. The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is functioning normally, ISRO said.
PARIS (CNES PR) — On the occasion of the state visit to France of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an agreement signed by CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and K Sivan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was officially announced to start development and production of a constellation of satellites on which studies have been underway since President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to India in March 2018.
This constellation carrying
telecommunications (AIS*) and radar and optical remote-sensing
instruments will constitute the first space-based system in the world
capable of tracking ships continuously. The satellites will be operated
jointly by France and India to monitor ships in the Indian Ocean. The
system will cover a wide belt around the globe, benefiting a broad range
of French economic interests. With a revisit capability making it
possible to task acquisitions several times a day, it will also be able
to detect oil slicks and trace their origin.
The first de-orbiting maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today (September 03, 2019) beginning at 0850 hrs IST as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of the maneuver was 4 seconds.
The orbit of Vikram Lander is 104 km x 128 km.
Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter continues to orbit the Moon in the existing orbit
and both the Orbiter and Lander are healthy.
The next de-orbiting maneuver is scheduled on September 04, 2019 between 0330 – 0430 hrs IST.
The Vikram Lander successfully separated from Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter at 1315 Hrs IST today (September 02, 2019). The Vikram Lander is currently located in an orbit of 119 km x 127 km. The Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter continues to orbit the Moon in its existing orbit.
The health of the Orbiter and Lander is being monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru. All the systems of Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter and Lander are healthy.
The next maneuver is scheduled tomorrow (September 03, 2019) between 0845-0945 hrs IST
BENGALURU, India (ISRO PR) — A Press Meet was organised today (August 20, 2019) at ISRO Headquarters, Bengaluru on the occasion of Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) of Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft. Dr K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO addressed and interacted with several regional, national and international media persons during the meet. The live telecast of this meet was made available on ISRO website and You tube Channel.
Bengaluru, India (ISRO PR) — Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver was completed successfully today (August 20, 2019). The duration of maneuver was 1738 seconds beginning from 0902 hrs IST. With this, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into a Lunar orbit. The orbit achieved is 114 km x 18072 km.
Following this, a series of orbit maneuvers will
be performed on Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft to enable it to enter its final
orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from
the Moon’s surface.
Subsequently, the lander will separate from the
Orbiter and enters into a 100 km X 30 km orbit around the Moon. Then,
it will perform a series of complex braking maneuvers to soft land in
the South polar region of the Moon on September 7, 2019.
The health of the spacecraft is being continuously
monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry,
Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from
Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru. All
the systems of Chandrayaan-2 are healthy.
The next Lunar bound orbit maneuver is scheduled tomorrow (August 21, 2019) between 1230-13:30 hrs IST.
The Times of India reports that ISRO is asking commercial companies to build its workhorse booster for the first time:
In a major push for PM Narendra Modi’s Make-in-India initiative, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has finally invited Indian companies to build five Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVs).
Confirming this on Friday, Isro chairman K Sivan told TOI: “At this moment we have called for an EOI (expression of interest), and it is not open for any foreign firm. Isro has been considering this for a while, and we think this will boost the Make-in-India initiative of the government.”
OXFORDSHIRE, UK (Lacuna Space PR) — Lacuna Space is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the first phase of testing in its mission to provide complete global coverage for LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology) to anywhere in the world, no matter how remote.
Lacuna Space is at the forefront of satellite IoT connectivity, with low-cost and high-scalability as its fundamental tenets in its system design. Over the course of the last two years, Lacuna has been collaborating with Semtech Corporation to extend LoRa Technology connectivity to the whole world.
BENGALURU, India (ISRO PR) — The final orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was successfully carried out today (August 14, 2019) at 02:21 am IST. During this maneuver, the spacecraft’s liquid engine was fired for about 1203 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory. Earlier, the spacecraft’s orbit was progressively increased five times during July 23 to August 06, 2019.