Why the Chandrayaan 2 mission is not a failure
Bengaluru, Sep 07: The Vikram Lander lost contact with the control room and this was heartbreaking for the entire nation. However, what must bear in mind is that this is a setback and not a failure.
The Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter still remains in operation and will continue to study the moon. It can take pictures of the moon and send it to ISRO. The Orbiter has a 1,000 watt electric power generation capacity. It can take pictures of the moon over the next one year.
The Orbiter features 8 science experiments that include, Terrain Mapping Camera 2, Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer, Imaging IR Spectrometer, Solar X-ray Monitor, Orbiter High-Resolution Camera, Dual Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar, Chandrayaan-2 Atmospheric Explorer 2 and Dual Frequency Radio Science payload says an article in nasaspaceflight.com.
ISRO officials say that 95 per cent of the Chandrayaan 2 is still safe. The orbiter will keep circling the moon and also click pictures for 1 year.
The mission life is one year and the Orbiter can take images of the moon and send it to ISRO. Chandrayaan 2 comprises three segments-the Orbiter, Vikram and Pragyan. Vikram separated from the Orbiter on September 2.
A normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 kilometres, ISRO said after the Vikram Lander lost communication with the ground station.
13 minutes after the Vikram began its descent that communication with the Chandrayaan 2 lander was lost. The lander failed to make a smooth soft landing and was unable to bring down its speed to the required level.
The failure took place 13 minutes after the descent began hoping to reduce its speed from 6,048 km per hour to 7 km per hour. The reduction to 7 kilometres or lower was required for a soft landing.
The moon lander, Vikram was separated from its orbiting mothership. It performed a series of manoeuvres to lower its altitude for a touchdown between 1.30 am and 2.30 am.
ISRO had termed this operation as tricky and even called it 15 minutes of terror. All around 2.1 kilometres from the surface, contact was lost. The data was being analysed, scientists at ISRO said.