The Chandrayaan-2 lander had a "hard landing" earlier this month before losing contact with the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro), the National Aerospace Authority (NASA).
The US Space Agency released high-resolution images taken with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) during the lunar flyby, in which the Vikram lander attempted a soft landing near the unknown lunar area on September 7.
The lander was only 2.1 km from the landing "Vikram had a hard landing and the exact position of the spacecraft in the lunar highlands has yet to be determined," Nasa said on their website.
The US agency said that the site was located approximately 600 kilometers from the South Pole in a relatively ancient area.
With our mission @LRO_NASA we have captured the targeted landing site of the Indian Chandrayaan 2 lander Vikram. The pictures were taken at dusk and the team could not find the lander. More pictures will be taken in October during a flyby with good lighting. More: https://t.co/1bMVGRKslp pic.twitter.com/kqTp3GkwuM
– NASA (@NASA) September 26, 2019
The LRO has crossed the landing site according to NASA September 17 and that "the LROC team could not locate or map the lander so far".
"It was dusk when the landing area was mapped and large shadows covered much of the terrain; The Vikram Lander may be hiding in a shadow. The lighting will be cheap if the LRO drives across the grounds in October and tries again to locate and map the lander.
Also read: When the moonlit night falls, you hope to contact the Vikram Lander of Chandrayaan-2 faded, experts say
The Chandrayaan 2 lunar lander attempted a " soft or controlled landing near the South Pole of the Moon, where scientists believe that water ice could exist.
At 1:38, the descent had begun and lowered the speed in 10 minutes from 1,640 meters per second to 140 meters per second. In the last few minutes, as the lander lowered its altitude to the lunar surface, communications broke off.
The last 15 minutes of the mission in which the lander tries to lead himself with the help of his own propulsion system had been described by Isro chief K Sivan as "15 minutes of terror".
Chandrayaan-2 was originally scheduled for July 15.
India's second lunar mission was launched from Sriharikota on board the GSLV Mk III on July 22, after scientists solved the problem in about a week.
Read also: Isros Vikram-Lander lies on the moon, but in one piece
September 27, 2019 07:59 IST