ISRO officially confirms locating Vikram lander, silent on whether it is intact



ISRO has posted on its website saying: “Vikram lander has been located by the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2, but no communication with it yet.” It does not say if it is intact or broken into pieces.

In a first direct official confirmation, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday (September 10) morning tweeted and posted on its website saying, “Vikram lander has been located by the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2, but no communication with it yet. All possible efforts are being made to establish communication with lander.” 

There is no mention of the camera that was used to locate the lander. It does not mention whether the lander is intact nor does it say whether it is in a “tilted” position, as has been widely reported by many newspapers.

On Sunday, ISRO tweeted saying it has noticed several accounts of ISRO Chairman K. Sivan on social media and clarified saying “Dr. K. Sivan, Chairman, ISRO does no have any personal accounts.”  

A September 9 PTI report had quoted an unnamed ISRO official as saying: “The lander is there (on the moon) as a single piece, not broken into pieces. It’s in a tilted position.”

But later during the day, India Today TV said ISRO has “refused to confirm if the lander was lying intact” on the lunar surface. Responding to the PTI report, the ISRO chairman’s office had told India Today TV: “What PTI has published isn’t confirmed. We haven’t confirmed it as well.” According to the India Today TV report, the clarification from ISRO said the “the space agency would provide an update as and when it had confirmation on Vikram’s fate”.

While ISRO has officially confirmed on its website that it has located the lander on the lunar surface, no clarification is available on whether the PTI report, which has been published by many newspapers, that the lander is intact is factually correct or not. Being non-committable on the status of the lander only suggests that ISRO is still trying to ascertain if the lander is intact after the hard landing on September 7.