Science

NASA Deep Space Network Continuously Beaming At ISRO's Vikram Lander

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) operator Richard Stephenson had confirmed NASA's support to ISRO in finding Vikram Lander
  • ISRO too is constantly trying to establish communication with Vikram through its Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu
  • Tilley too mentioned that this was NASA's standard procedure after an anomalous mission event like this

In a bid to help ISRO communicate with 'Vikram Lander' which is currently on the lunar surface, NASA's  Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), on Friday, is sending radio signals to Vikram Lander, as revealed by Astronomer Scott Tilley. As shared by Tilley in a series of tweets, NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) has been beaming radio frequency to Vikram Lander. ISRO too is constantly trying to establish communication with Vikram through its Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu near Bengaluru. Tilley has also reported about the health of Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter which is currently orbiting the moon around 100km from the surface. This is being currently monitored by Tilley's own lab.

NASA DSN continuously beaming Vikram

NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) operator Richard Stephenson had confirmed on Thursday that DSN was indeed supporting ISRO's mission of finding Chandrayaan 2's lander. Previously on Tuesday, ISRO had confirmed that Vikram was in a single piece on the lunar surface, not broken into pieces, and is in a tilted position.  ISRO also stated that "all-out efforts" are being made to establish communication with the lander. Vikram, with rover 'Pragyan' housed inside it, hit the lunar surface after communication with the ground-stations was lost during its final descent, in the early hours of Saturday. 

READ |NASA to try to capture ISRO's Vikram Lander on camera on Lunar surface

Astronomer Tilley too steps up

Tilley too mentioned that this was NASA's standard procedure after an anomalous mission event like this. He also stated that his station will continue to monitor for Vikram Lander signals as long as the DSN continues to search for it. Though he claims chances are less, he has hoped that either NDSN or IDSN  will hear a faint whisper from Vikram Lander in response to high power beacon signals before lunar night descends and freezes the lander. NASA's DSN from Madrid, Canberra, and Goldstone are currently aiding ISRO in an attempt to contact Vikram.

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He has also shared signals of Chandrayaan 2 orbiter's signals captured by his station:

WATCH | ISRO: Vikram lander located by Chandrayaan-2's orbiter, all efforts on

NASA to aid ISRO with 'Vikram Lander

Apart from this, NASA has said that it will share ' any before and after flyover imagery' of the Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Lander landing site, as per international reports.  According to reports NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is scheduled to pass over the Vikram Lander's landing site on September 17. ISRO has not released any photos of Vikram as of Friday. Meanwhile, on Thursday, officials of the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) visited ISRO's Bengaluru headquarters, according to PTI.

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What happened during Vikram's soft-landing?

Earlier on Saturday morning at 1:50 AM when Vikram was scheduled to land, ISRO's Deep Space Antenna lost communication with Chandrayaan-2's lander- Vikram as it descended towards the lunar surface. The lander had descended from 30 km to 2km smoothly. During the final smooth braking stage, it had lost communication with Mission Control. Vikram was aimed at soft-landing on the moon, making India the fourth country to do so.

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