India Finds Lost Lunar Lander

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India Locates Lost Lunar Lander but Struggles to Reestablish Contact

by Meilan Solly Smithsonian.com

A thermal image captured by India’s Chandrayaan-2 lunar orbiter has revealed the location of a lunar lander that went offline minutes before its expected touchdown, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman K. Sivan said Sunday.

As the agency director explained to Asian News International, the orbiter’s cameras spotted Vikram—a robotic lander that lost contact with ISRO’s Bengaluru ground station as it was descending to the moon around 2 a.m. Saturday local time—on a yet-to-be identified section of the moon’s surface. Although attempts to establish contact with the lander and assess damage are currently under way, an anonymous senior official with the mission tells Press Trust of India (PTI) the likelihood of reestablishing a connection will become “less and less probable” as time passes. According to Sivan, the ISRO will continue to make communication attempts for 14 days.

If Vikram had made a soft landing as planned, India would have become the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon’s surface and the third to launch a robotic lunar rover. (Previously, the United States, the former Soviet Union and China have all successfully landed spacecraft on the lunar surface.) The mission would have been the first lunar landing in the south pole region of the moon.

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

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