After ISRO confirmed having located Chandrayaan-2’s lander Vikram on Moon’s surface, former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayan on Sunday said the next challenge would be to establish communication with the lander, chances of which, according to him, however, looks bleak.
A day after ISRO lost contact with Chandrayaan-2’s lander Vikram just minutes before its scheduled soft landing, ISRO confirmed that it has been located and the efforts to establish contact with it are in full swing. “We’ve found the location of Vikram Lander on lunar surface orbiter has clicked a thermal image of Lander. But there is no communication yet. We are trying to have contact. It will be communicated soon,” ISRO Chief K Sivan said Sunday.
Location of lander proves orbiter functioning well: Expert
A space expert Ajay Lele said, the location of Vikram module of Chandrayaan-2 by ISRO “proves beyond doubt” the orbiter is functioning well. “The location of the lander module proves beyond doubt that the orbiter is working fine. The orbiter is the main element of the mission as it will work for more than a year,” Lele said.
He added the planned life of the orbiter is more than a year, so it will keep sending the data, while the rover was to conduct experiments for only one lunar day, which is 14 earth days. Lele, a senior fellow at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, also said it was only a matter time that the orbiter located Vikram and the question now remains on the health of the lander.
PM Modi’s gesture prompted scientists to look for what went wrong: DRDO Chairman
Meanwhile, Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation G Satheesh Reddy said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s gesture of hugging and consoling ISRO chief was a morale booster for the scientists at the space station. “It’s a great gesture by PM. It’s great morale booster for scientists who saw last mile glitch in mission. I think, after that gesture, ISRO scientists again started working on the mission, started looking for what actually happened & that’s how they could locate the rover also,” sadi Reddy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said an “ISRO spirit” has gripped the country, which has been united by the moon mission Chandrayaan-2, and the nation now looks beyond success and failure.
“On the night of September 7, 100 seconds after 1.50 am an incident awakened and united the entire country. Like (there is) a sportsman spirit, an ISRO spirit is running in the country. Countrymen are not ready to accept negativity,” Modi said. “In those 100 seconds whatever the country did, it reflected the mettle of 125 crore countrymen,” said Modi, who had flown to Bengaluru to watch the planned touchdown of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) lander ‘Vikram’.
Speaking to news agency PTI, ISRO Chief Sivan said, “We are extremely happy (with PM’s address as well as nation rallying behind ISRO). It has boosted the morale of our people.”
Lauding the Prime Minister for fully backing the ISRO team, Sivan said, “We are so touched. The country has given a good, positive response. PM was incredible yesterday.”“The way he (PM) conveyed it… so passionate… so emotional and sometimes rich with meanings and positive responses. I think we could not have expected anything better. Fantastic,” he added.
India’s hopes of soft landing a spacecraft on moon dashed after the ISRO lost communication with Vikram lander of the Chandrayaan-2. It was said that the lander was unable to bring down its speed to the level required to make a soft landing. The incident took place just 13 minutes after Vikram began its descent, hoping to reduce its speed from 6,048 km per hour to about 7 km per hour or lower.
Soon after the Chandrayaan 2 setback, PM Modi, who had joined the scientists at ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru to witness the scheduled landing of Vikram on the Moon, consoled an emotional ISRO chief Sivan.
He also addressed the ISRO team and said “There are ups and downs in life. This is not a small achievement. The nation is proud of you. Hope for the best. I congratulate you. You all have done a big service to the nation, science and mankind. I am with you all the way, move forward bravely.”
Calling Chandrayaan-2 as a “highly complex mission”, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Saturday said, “till date 90 to 95% of the mission objectives have been accomplished, notwithstanding the loss of communication with the Lander.” It also said that the “precise launch” of the orbiter, placed around the moon, has ensured that it will have “a long life of almost 7 years instead of the planned one year.”
The Orbiter, the ISRO said, has already been placed in its intended orbit around the Moon and shall enrich the understanding of the moon’s evolution and mapping of the minerals and water molecules in the Polar Regions, using its eight state-of-the-art scientific instruments. “The Orbiter camera is the highest resolution camera (0.3m) in any lunar mission so far and shall provide high-resolution images which will be immensely useful to the global scientific community,” it said.