Vikram Lander was just 330m away from touch down

Vikash Aiyappa

Bengaluru, Sep 20: Even as ISRO and NASA analyse data, it appears that the Vikram Lander may have crashed on September 7 at a speed of more than 200 km per hour.

The lander is unlikely to have survived the crash. However the analysis based on the images suggest that the lander may be in a titled position, but is not beyond recognition.

The lander may have spun out of control and lost control with ISRO about 330m away from the lunar surface. ISRO officials say that they are currently analysing the landing programme that was written by the team at the UR Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru.

NASA's LRO snaps a series of images of Vikram Lander during its flyby

There could have been an error in this programme, which may have caused the crash, officials also said.

Meanwhile as the deadline to re-establish communication with Chandrayaan 2's Vikram lander nears, Nasa's Moon orbiter has captured images of the lunar region where the Indian mission made an unsuccessful attempt to soft land, according to a media report that quoted a project scientist of the US space agency.

Nasa's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft has snapped a series of images during its flyby on September 17 of Vikram's attempted landing sight near the Moon's uncharted south pole, and the US space agency is now analysing and reviewing them.

The probability of establishing contact with the lander has a deadline of September 21 because after that the Moon region will enter into a lunar night.

LRO deputy project scientist John Keller shared a statement confirming that the orbiter's camera captured the images, according to a report in cnet.com.

"The LROC team will analyse these new images and compare them to previous images to see if the lander is visible (it may be in shadow or outside the imaged area)," Keller was quoted as saying in the statement.

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Nasa is validating, analysing and reviewing the images. It was near lunar dusk when the orbiter passed over, meaning large parts of the area were in shadow, the report said.

According to the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro), the lander Vikram and rover Pragyan were supposed to be functional only for 14 days from the day of their touchdown.

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