India’s attempt to be the first country to conduct the soft landing on lunar south
pole, but missed the history by 0.0006%, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO)
Chandrayaan-2 mission successfully traveled the distance of 3,83,998 km out of
3,84,000 km between Earth and Moon, but tantalisingly failed just 2.1 km before
the final touchdown on the lunar land.
Isro lost contact with
the lander Vikram during its descent to the Lunar surface, minutes before the
planned touch-down. The status of the lander is still unknown, but the Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter is
still in orbit of the Moon and working fine.
ISRO is analysing the communication data whether the lander managed to get a soft landing or a rough landing.
In an official communication, ISRO had announced that Vikram lander 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.
As the lander Vikram
and the rover Pragyan were to function on the Moon for 14 days, if they may
have made the successful landing, ISRO still has the chance to regain contact
with the lander and continue the mission.
* The lander can’t survive the harsh condition of -180 degree temperature during the lunar nights, so it still has over 13 days to contact back the earth station.
Even if the lander may have been destroyed in case of a crash landing, the Chandyaan orbiter will continue to function and will keep sending images to Earth for the next one year.
* The orbiter will also try to establish contact with the lander and try to locate its landing site while in orbit 100 km above the lunar surface.
* The 2,379-kg orbiter carries eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and study the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon.