BENGALURU, Sept 10 - ISRO is racing against time to spring Vikram back to life and salvage the lander-rover part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission.
The lander Vikram, with rover Pragyan tucked inside it, lost communication with the ground-stations during its final descent, just 2.1 km above the lunar surface, minutes before the planned soft-landing in the early hours of Saturday.
ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) said on Sunday that Vikram had a �hard-landing�.
The Bengaluru-headquarterd space agency on Tuesday again confirmed that the lander has been located on the lunar surface by the on-board cameras of the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter which is circling the Moon in its intended orbit.
�All possible efforts are being made to establish communication with (the) lander,� ISRO further said in a tweet.
A senior ISRO official associated with the mission said: �The images from the orbiter camera showed that Vikram is in single piece lying on the lunar surface; not broken into pieces. It is in a tilted position. It�s not in its four legs, as usual.� The official added on condition of anonymity: �It�s not upside down. It�s lying on its side.�
ISRO officially did not comment on the condition of the lander.
Chandrayaan-2 comprises an orbiter, lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan). The mission life of the lander and rover is one lunar day, which is equal to 14 earth days.
ISRO chairman K Sivan said on Saturday evening that the space agency would try to restore link with the lander for 14 days and it has been reiterating the resolve since then.
An ISRO official said Vikram hit the lunar surface at a place about 500 metres away from where it was originally planned to touch down. But there was no official word on this from ISRO.
Sources said an ISRO team is trying to see if they can reorient the antennas of the lander in such a way that communication can be restored. �Efforts are going on,� they said.
According to a senior ISRO official, orientation may have been lost during the final descent when velocity was reduced, due to �sensor or on-board software or computer anomaly�.
�A committee is looking into what has gone wrong. They will come out with answers soon,� the official said. � PTI