The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday released the first set of images of earth captured by Chandrayaan-2 from outer space. “First set of beautiful images of the Earth captured by #Chandrayaan2 #VikramLander. Earth as viewed by #Chandrayaan2 LI4 Camera on August 3, 2019 17:28 UT,” ISRO tweeted.
Chandrayaan-2, the 3,850-kg three-module spacecraft, was launched on July 22 into an elliptical orbit around the Earth, with the aim of landing a rover on the South Pole of the moon. The rover is scheduled to land on the lunar surface on September 7.
A reverse image search on Google showed that most of the pictures in question were either illustrations or stock images lifted from websites including NASA. Another set of images doing rounds were, in fact, taken by astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS).
Even ISRO’s Twitter handle, which has been posting regular updates about the moon lander mission, had not shared any images of the earth till then.
The lunar orbiter part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, according to ISRO, is equipped with two cameras — Orbiter High-Resolution Camera (OHRC) and Terrain Mapping Camera 2 (TMC 2). Details about the two orbiter payloads on the ISRO site suggest that their primary use is for mapping the lunar surface. The OHRC will provide high-resolution images of the landing site so that the Lander can avoid craters or boulders.