ISRO Racing to Contact Lander Vikram
India had expected to make history with the Rs. 1,000 crore Chandrayaan II mission. A successful soft landing on the moon's surface was what was expected to make India only the fourth nation in the world, to have achieved the feat. However, that is yet to be fulfilled.
The lander Vikram housing rover Pragyan inside it, had lost communication with the ground station ISRO on September 7 during it's final descent, just 2.1 kilometers above the lunar surface. Ever since, ISRO has been racing against time to establish contact with the Lander.
ISRO is trying to establish contact before September 21 as after that, the Moon region will enter into a lunar night. After that it will be impossible for lander Vikram to operate, as it needs sunlight to generate power, in order to be in working condition.
The Lander has a mission life of one Lunar day which is equivalent to 14 earth days. While ISRO was able to locate the lander through some thermal images, it has been finding it difficult to establish contact. The lander Vikram is in a single piece, not broken, but it has landed in a tilted position.
Nights on the Moon can be very cold, especially in the south polar region where lander Vikram is lying. The temperatures can drop as low as minus 200 degrees Celsius during the Lunar night.