NASA joins ISRO to track Vikram 'calling home'

Chandrayaan 2 NASA attempts to make contact with lander Vikram on the Moon

ISRO chairman K Sivan had described the crucial last-minute moments earlier as "15 minutes of terror" when Lander Vikram would go independent, with zero contact from ground control to supervise it. A NASA source confirmed this.

ISRO is trying to establish link with Vikram with its Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu near Bengaluru. "The attempts will be made till September 20-21 when sunlight will be there in the area where the Vikram has landed", an ISRO official preferring anonymity said.

"This is an eerie recording of the searcher's sign mirrored off the Moon and again to Earth by way of EME (Earth Moon Earth) on 2103.7MHz". On sending a signal to the lander, Moon acts as a radio reflector and sends back a small portion of that signal that can be detected on Earth after the 8,00,000-km round trip.

DSN supports both NASA and non-NASA missions that seek to explore the furthest points of our solar system. "India failed. Chandrayaan-2", wrote Veena.

The Vikram Lander successfully separated from Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter on September 2. First, its "passive payload" laser reflector array was installed on Vikram lander that was meant to track the lander's exact spot and also calculate the exact distance between Earth and Moon.

ISRO has several future missions planned which include the human spaceflight mission, a joint mission with NASA and also a mission to the sun.

Chandrayaan-2, a project worth 978 crores Indian Rupees, was launched on July 22 into space using the heavy-lift Indian rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III). It is keenly awaiting for 3D mapping and sharp images of the south pole region of Moon.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is expected to also photograph the site of landing at a different angle from the OHRC on 17 September and share data with ISRO. Communication can only be established if Vikram's antenna is pointing in the right direction, but no information of the lander's orientation, condition, or even its exact location is known yet. For years, India has had its sights set on joining the U.S., the Soviet Union, and China in the elite group of nations that have landed on the Moon.

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