The orbiter operated by the United States is about to fly to that part of the moon after it lost contact with the Earth while trying to land on the Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram Chandra surface. On Tuesday, just 10 days after the Vikram Lander went silent, the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter would fly over the Vikram landing site and try to take a picture of the lander in hopes of determining the fate of the spacecraft.
But there are concerns that sunlight may be dimmed in the region, where NASA's lunar recovery orbiter may try to snap the picture.
A spokeswoman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration had previously confirmed that the space agency's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will fly to Vikram's landing on September 7. It is unknown when the orbit will perform the aircraft.
Interestingly, it appears that the NASA LRO was able to collect data during the landing of the Chandrayaan-2 lander at dawn on September 9th. A NASA official recently spoke at an event in the US, saying that the LRO has been investigating the cause of changes in the Moon's atmosphere.
"Indeed, the LAMP device was monitoring the changes in the exosphere as the rocket dropped below the flow of the rocket during the rise of Chandrayaan-II," quoted by Jay Jenkins, Program Executive Director of NASA's Science Mission Office Exploration, Space.com.
Lunar RECONNAISSANCE Orbiter
Launched in May 27, NASA's Lunar Recovery Orbiter is part of a search-cum-science mission of LRO has spent a large part of its mission mapping the lunar surface to identify sites for future robots and human missions to the moon.
According to NASA, the data collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will "help the world develop a deeper understanding of the Moon's environment, return to safe moons on the moon, and human exploration of our solar system in the future."
Interestingly, one of the main centers of the Moon Recovery Orbiter is exploring the polar regions of the Moon, which seems to contain iced water in permanently shaded traps.
The objective of this mission is similar to that of Chandrayaan-II. The Chandrayaan-2 orbit, which is safely in its orbit around the moon, will also study the Moon's south polar region and try to estimate the amount of ice water present.
Chandrayaan-2, the predecessor of Chandrayaan-2, made history by confirming the presence of ice water in the region nearly a decade ago.
What's next for Vikram Lander?
The Indian Space Research Organization is running out of time to get in touch with Vikram Lander. Lander's mission life - and the six-wheeled rover wisdom that carries Vikram - was a lunar day, combined with 14 days on Earth.
Vikram tried to land on the moon in September as the moon began to rise. It will be overnight on the moon by September 27, and even if the ISRO comes in contact with Vikram, there will be no provision for the Chandrayaan-2 lander to charge and keep it powered.
Also, this timeline means now, it's evening on the moon. The fading sunlight NASA's Moon Reconnaissance Orbiter could come in the way of a better quality picture of Vikram Lander.
Whatever happens, we will know more in the coming hours and days.
What happens to the moon mission?
The Chandrayaan-2 orbit, which has been tested in most of the missions, is safe and in fact has seen its life expectancy increase. Thanks to the energy saved while traveling to the moon, the Indian Space Research Agency was able to extend the mission of the orbit from one year to seven years.
For years, the Chandrayaan-2 orbit will map the lunar surface, study the atmosphere of the moon and examine the presence of various minerals in the moon The most significant experiment, the Chandrayaan-2 orbit, will estimate the amount of ice water in the moon.