New Delhi: A day after communication from Vikram lander to the ground station was lost in the last moments during soft landing on the moon surface, the United States congratulated ISRO for Chandrayaan-2 mission, calling it a ‘huge step forward for India’. “We congratulate ISRO on their incredible efforts on Chandrayaan 2. The mission is a huge step forward for India and will continue to produce valuable data to fuel scientific advancements,” Alice G Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia stated in a late-night tweet.
The US diplomat asserted that they have no doubt that India will achieve its space aspirations. In its post, the State Department also quoted a tweet from US space agency NASA, which had tagged the ISRO and lauded India for its moon mission. “Space is hard. We commend ISRO’s attempt to land their Chandrayaan2 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 (sic),” NASA had tweeted.
India’s ambitious lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2 was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 22. 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. On September 2, the Vikram lander successfully separated from the Orbiter to reach the lunar surface. However, on September 7, the misson suffered a setback when the Vikram lander lost its communication with the ground stations, just 2.1 km above the lunar surface.
Issuing a statement, the Indian space agency had stated that 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. 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,” read the statement.
Speaking to DD news, ISRO chief K Sivan had said that they will try to establish a link with the Vikram Lander for the next 14 days.