The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter from NASA has once again flown over the site where the Vikram spacecraft of India was supposed to land. However, the vehicle is yet to be spotted. The Indian mission Chandrayaan 2 launched the Vikram lander. It was slated to softly land on the surface of the moon on September 6. The aim of the lander was to carry out scientific investigations for two weeks, including the deployment of a rover. But the later stages of the process saw the control room lose contact with the spacecraft. The Space Agency of India claimed to have spotted the vehicle right after its presumed crash. No further details were revealed.
According to Noah Petro who is a project scientist at the NASA project of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, it is possible that NASA is not searching at the right spot or they are not being able to spot the vehicle because of illumination. Until they get access to more information about its location, the NASA is going to have a hard time finding it.
As per news, LRO team is not trying to interfere with matters. However, the orbit of the spacecraft allows it fly over the landing site once every month. Further, the job of the mission is studying the surface of the moon. For more than the past decade, LRO has orbited the moon. It has helped the team working on the spacecraft in collating a structured timeline for the changes on the surface of the moon.
A majority of these changes consist of meteorite strikes. Apart from that, landing of spacecraft have a distinct impact on the moon’s surface. For instance, LRO has noted blast zones in the vicinity of a spacecraft softly touching down due to the response of lunar surface to the vehicle’s machinery. The NASA has expressed interest in discovering what happened to the mission by observing the lunar surface changes.