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'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.
To demonstrate just how important the @NASA Deep Space Network is to other agencies requiring a communications link to their spacecraft outside of Earth's atmosphere . We are currently supporting 2 x @isro and 2 x @esa missions. pic.twitter.com/Fr9RcAxIEx— Richard Stephenson (@nascom1) September 11, 2019
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.
My station will continue to monitor for #VikramLander signals as long as the #DSN continues to search for it. However, the chances of my amateur station hearing a potential signal from Vikram are very slim.— Scott Tilley (@coastal8049) September 13, 2019
As #NASA #DSN operator @nascom1 mentioned yesterday on Twitter, the effort being made to communicate is standard procedure after an anomalous mission event like this. While there is always hope and that drives the search the prognosis of hearing from #VikramLander is not good.— Scott Tilley (@coastal8049) September 13, 2019
Here we go folks, #Chandrayaan2 orbiter signal is loud and clear now. #Queqiao seen just above it. DSN24 is warming up so looks like they are still trying for #VikramLander lander. pic.twitter.com/h4OC39q3AN— Scott Tilley (@coastal8049) September 13, 2019
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.
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.