Bengaluru | An ISRO official has stated that even if the Vikram lander has lost communication channels, the orbiter Chandrayaan 2 is still in place and will be operational for one year.
“Only 5 per cent of the mission has been lost – Vikram the lander and Pragyan the rover – while the remaining 95 per cent – that is the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter – is orbiting the moon successfully,” an official of the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO told news agency IANS.
The orbiter can take several pictures of the moon and send it to the ISRO over the next year. The orbiter can take pictures of the lander to find out its status too, the ISRO official added. The rover inside the lander had a lifespan of only 14 days.
On Saturday, contact was lost with the Moon lander Vikram just before it was due to touch down near the lunar south pole. A successful landing would have made India the fourth country; after the United States, Russia and China — to successfully land on the Moon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi watched the operation from the ISRO mission control and later asked the scientists to not “lose hope”.
K Sivan had earlier described the time of landing as “15 minuted of terror”.
But following several tense minutes as the expected landing time of about 1:55 AM lapsed, ISRO Chairman K Sivan announced that communication had been lost with the lander.