Hours after communication from Vikram lander to the ground station was lost on early Saturday morning, ISRO has put out an update on the Chandrayaan 2 mission. In a statement released by ISRO, Chandrayaan-2 mission has been termed as "a highly complex mission", adding that it represented a significant technological leap compared to the previous missions of ISRO.
Launched on July 22, Chandrayaan 2 brought together an Orbiter, Lander, and Rover to explore the unexplored south pole of the Moon, the statement further said. ISRO said that "it was a unique mission which aimed at studying not just one area of the Moon but all the areas combining the exosphere, the surface as well as the sub-surface of the moon in a single mission".
#Chandrayaan2 mission was a highly complex mission, which represented a significant technological leap compared to the previous missions of #ISRO to explore the unexplored south pole of the Moon.— ISRO (@isro) September 7, 2019
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ISRO updated that the Orbiter has already been placed in its intended orbit around the Moon, and using its eight state-of-the-art scientific instruments, it shall keep enriching on the understanding of the moon's evolution and mapping of the minerals and water molecules in the Polar Regions. It was stated that the Orbiter camera is the highest resolution camera (0.3m) in any lunar mission so far. In a major development, ISRO revealed that the Orbiter's life span might have increased to almost 7 years instead of the planned one year due to the precise launch and mission management.
Updating on the Vikram lander, ISRO stated that the Lander followed the planned descent trajectory from its orbit of 35 km to just below 2 km above the surface. "All the systems and sensors of the Lander functioned excellently until this point and proved many new technologies such as variable thrust propulsion technology used in the Lander," the statement further read.
ISRO defined the success criteria for each and every phase of the mission and added that 90 to 95 per cent of the mission objectives have been accomplished till date. It said that the mission will keep contributing to Lunar science in spite of the loss of communication with the Lander.
As ISRO official has assured that the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is healthy and safe in the Lunar orbit, after the Vikram lander lost contact with ground stations minutes before the touchdown on Moon's surface early on Saturday. ISRO Chief K Sivan announcing the development stated that the data is being analysed of the Lander. On September 2, ISRO successfully carried out the separation of lander Vikram (with rover Pragyan housed inside) from the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.
Outside the ISRO monitoring centre, PM Narendra Modi consoled ISRO Chairman K Sivan after his speech after he got emotional over the Chandrayaan 2 mission's unsuccess. While departing from the Centre, K Sivan shook hands with PM Modi and exchanged a few words. However, he got emotional as PM Modi pulled him for a hug. Tears rolled down from Sivan's face as PM Modi held him in a tight embrace.