The NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) took a second shot at spotting the Vikram lander, part of a failed landing attempt by India's Chandrayaan 2 mission on the moon's South pole. This fresh set of pictures was taken under better lighting conditions than the first set of images taken in September, and experts will be making "a rigorous search" for the lander using the images that come from it, according to LRO Project Scientist Noah Petro.
"The lighting conditions on Monday were much more favourable (with) less shadow in the region" compared to last month, Petro told IANS on Wednesday. "We flew over the landing site on Monday and the camera team is still evaluating images, so we should know more in the next few days," he added.
NASA's LRO to flyover Vikram lander's crash site. image credit: NASA
The LRO, on a previous occasion (17 September), flew over the landing site but wasn't able to spot the Vikram lander since it was dusk at the lunar South Pole at the time. "Long shadows in the area" were thought to be obscuring the area, leaving the lander out of the LRO's range of vision. However, NASA did release images of the moon and the site where the lander is >thought to have crashed, taken before the lander crashed on the moon's surface.