Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Lander located, efforts on to re-establish contact: ISRO


KARACHI: Pakistan's first female astronaut Namira Salim has congratulated the Indian Space and Research Organisation (Isro) on the Chandrayaan-2 mission and its historic attempt to make a landing on the Moon, worldwide media reported. The photos have not yet been released, but according to ISRO's chief, Kailasavadivoo Sivan, the lander has been seen near the targeted landing site and apparently in one piece.

"It has probably hard-landed on Lunar surface as per the thermal images sent by the on-board camera of Chandrayaan's orbiter", ISRO Official said.

"After communication with the lander was lost, we made a decision to offer special prayers seeking Moon God's intervention to regain contact with the lander and it was held on Monday", V Kannan, temple manager told PTI.

"We are trying to establish contact".

The prayers included "abishekam" (celestial bath), which was performed with several items, including honey and sandal paste and followed by a community feast (Annadhanam), a temple official said on Tuesday.

Vikram, which encases rover "Pragyan", went incommunicado when it was just 2.1km away from the lunar surface.

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The Lander Vikram was to soft-land on the far side of the moon at on September 7.

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

As part of the Chandrayaan-2 operation, the orbiter will continue to study the south pole region of the Moon. With the "precise launch and mission management", the orbiter's life span will extend to nearly seven years.

"We should not give up hope (about the lander), let's wait for more news", he said.

The status of the Chandrayaan-2 lander remains the same, two days after ISRO Chairman K. Sivan announced that the orbiter had imaged the lander on the lunar surface. Scientists believe there could be water ice on the South Pole.