Nasa’s deep-space antennas transferring, Besides Isro’s (Indian Space Research Organisation’s) last-ditch effort to build a communication link with Vikram lander that is lying still on the lunar surface after a hard-landing on Sep7,
Nasa (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has also sent hello messages to the Indian lander on Moon to connect with it.
Through its Deep space network ground-stations, Nasa’s Jet Propulsion laboratory had beamed a radio frequency to Vikram to establish contact with the lander. A source in Nasa informed Newschannel, “Yes, NASA/JPL is working to contact Vikram for its deep space network (DSN) as contractually – agreed with Isro.”
Nasa’s deep-space antennas transferring, The hope of recovery of Vikram is becoming slim by the day as even 14 Earth days when the lander will remain opened to Sun’s rays,
the will to get over on September 20-21 and after that, there would be no hope to strengthen its solar panel.
Another scientist Scott Tilley also confirmed that Nasa’s DSN station in California had sent the radio frequency to the lander.
Tilley, who gained fame for finding a Nasa spy-satellite IMAGE that became lost in 2005, tweeted,
“DSN 24 support 12KW of RF at the Moon in hopes of stimulating Chandrayaan2’s Vikramlander into interacting with a home.
Here’s an eerie record of the searcher’s signal returned off
the Moon and back to Earth via Earth Moon Earth (EME) on 2103.7MHz (He attached the record of the RF signal with his tweet).”
On transferring a signal to the lander, Moon acts as a radio reflector and sends back a small part of that signal that can be discovered on Earth after the 8,00,000km round trip.
To a TOI query, Tilley answered, “DSN 24 has been sending a signal on Vikram Lander’s uplink-frequency for the last 2-days now. I believe other DSN stations have done the same too.”
Nasa’s JPL has DSN ground station in 2- places -Goldstone, Madrid (Spain), South California (US), and Canberra (Australia). The 3-stations are located 120 degrees apart on Earth to ensure that any satellite in deep space can interact with at least one station at all times. Each site contains a minimum of four large antennas – ranging from 26 metres up to 70 metres in width – and is capable of providing continuous radio communications with several spacecraft at the same time.
DSN supports Nasa and non-NASA missions that explore the most distant points of our solar system. Isro had sought the help of NSA’s DSN to follow the journey of Chandrayaan-2 combined module while it was on its approach to Moon from Earth’s short orbit.
Nasa has been showing a lot of interest in India’s moon mission because of different reasons.
First, its “passive payload” laser reflector array was installed on Vikram lander.
that was meant to track the lander’s specific spot and also calculate the precise distance within Earth and Moon.
The distance calculations would have accommodated Nasa plan its future moon purposes better. But after the Vikram had “hard-landed” on Moon, the fate of the Nasa-payload, consisting of an array of mirrors, is unknown
Second, Nasa is expecting a lot of essential data from the Chandrayaan2’s orbiter, which is filled with 8 advanced payloads. It is eagerly awaiting for 3D mapping and sharp images of the south pole region of Moon.
This is because Nasa has programs to send a human-crewed mission to the south pole by 2024
under its Artemis-programme and it wants to enrich its knowledge about that region to plan its purpose better.
With China planning to set up an analysis hub in the south pole of Moon after two or three more lander missions to Moon, the US doesn’t want to stay behind. US President Donald Trump wants Nasa to use the services of private space companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s
Blue Origin to make the human-crewed mission to Moon a reality again,
over 50 years after the famous Apollo-11 mission that helped the US make history by becoming the first country in the world to land on Moon.
Nasa’s current budget is $21.5 billion, and the Trump presidency is asking another $1.6 billion for the current financial year to fund its return to Moon.