New Delhi: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) lauded the efforts of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday for its lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 which was partially successful as the Vikram lander lost communication with ground stations just 2.1 km above the lunar surface.
The United States agency, responsible for civilian space programs, said that space is hard and that they commend ISRO’s attempt to land Chandrayaan-2 mission on the Moon’s South pole.
“You have inspired us with your journey and look forward to future opportunities to explore our solar system together,” tweeted the NASA.
The US agency replied by quoting ISRO’s statement on the lunar mission where it had said that the success criteria of the mission were defined for each and every phase of the mission, and till date, 90 to 95 per cent of the mission objectives have been accomplished.
The ISRO added that the orbiter will continue contributing to Lunar science, notwithstanding the loss of communication with the Lander.
“The Orbiter has already been placed in its intended orbit around the Moon and shall enrich our 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,” read the statement.
“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,” the statement added.
The ISRO chief K Sivan today, in an interview to DD News, said that they will try to establish a link with the Vikram Lander for the next 14 days.
According to Sivan, the designated life term of the Orbiter was only one-year but because we have extra fuel right now available in the Orbiter, the Orbiter life is estimated as 7.5 years.
Chandrayaan-2, India’s ambitious lunar mission, was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 22 after it got postponed on July 15 due to technical error.
On August 20, the ISRO successfully fired the liquid engine of Chandrayaan-2 and inserted the spacecraft in the lunar orbit from the earth orbit.
After that, the Vikram lander successfully separated from the Orbiter on September 2 to reach the lunar surface.
The launch of Chandrayaan-2 to the final descent was textbook, but just 2.1 km above the lunar surface, the Vikram lander lost its communication with the ground stations after diverting from its planned trajectory.