As speculation over the fate of Chandrayaan 2’s Vikram lander continues to prevail, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind expressed solidarity with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). On microblogging website Twitter, he wrote that the ISRO team had displayed terrific commitment and courage. Further, he said that India was proud of ISRO. He also conveyed his best wishes for the success of Chandrayaan 2.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan’s description of the last 15 minutes of the pre-landing phase of Vikram as ‘terror’ proved to be prophetic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the ISRO Monitoring Centre just before the descent was about to begin. The first part of the powered descent of Vikram lander was the Rough Breaking phase. While this was successfully completed, the next hurdle was the Fine Breaking phase.
At this juncture, the anxiety in the room increased manifold. As the expected deadline of landing was breached, there was further uncertainty. Several experts in the field across the world started expressing their opinion. Dr. Jessie Christiansen, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research scientist wrote on microblogging website Twitter that the signal was not being received from the Vikram lander. She also expressed her concern for the ISRO scientists who had worked so hard on this Mission.
Finally, there was an official update from the ISRO Chairman K Sivan. According to him, the descent of the Vikram lander was normal up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, there was a loss of communication between Vikram and the Earth. He also mentioned that the available data was being scrutinized.
This is Mission Control Centre. #VikramLander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, communication from Lander to the ground stations was lost. Data is being analyzed.#ISRO— ISRO (@isro) September 6, 2019