NASA/JPL Joins ISRO in Trying To Establish Contact with Vikram Lander on Moon’s Surface
Sept. 12, 2019 (EIRNS)—Not only Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), but also NASA is making attempts to elicit a response from Vikram lander that is lying motionless on the Moon. The connection between the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and Vikram lander snapped on the early hours of Sept. 7 when the Vikram lander, which houses the six-wheeled lunar rover Pragyan, suddenly went off course around 400 meters above the lunar surface. Subsequently, ISRO located Vikram, sitting on Moon’s surface, tilted but visually undamaged, although ISRO has not succeeded in establishing contact.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has also beamed a radio frequency to the Vikram lander to establish contact. “NASA/JPL is trying to contact Vikram through its deep space network (DSN) as contractually agreed with ISRO,” a source told Times of India. In addition, ISRO today said officials from the California Institute of Technology and the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) visited its headquarters in Bengaluru and met its Chairman K. Sivan.
NASA’s JPL has DSN ground stations in Goldstone, California; Madrid, Spain, and Canberra, Australia. These stations are located 120 degrees apart and aim to establish contact with any satellite in deep space. DSN supports both NASA and non-NASA missions that seek to explore the farthest points of our solar system. Furthermore, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is scheduled to pass over the part of the Moon where Vikram is on Sept. 17. The orbiter will take images of the area and will share them with the ISRO for analysis, India Today reported.