India’s Chandrayaan 2 mission did not go entirely as planned, lander Vikram status is uncertain

Started on July 22, 2019, India’s lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 finally ended on September 7, 2019. It took 48 days for Chandrayaan 2 mission to enter the moon surface. Well the mission did not go entirely as planned.

Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) lander Vikram, with a rover on board attempted a descent to the moon’s unexplored south pole. The lander seemed to have completed its landing process up a point, but communication was lost and the lander’s status is currently uncertain.

Neil Degrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, tells Rahul Shivshankar on India Upfront:

Space is hard and it takes smart people and India has them on this mission, India has gone to the moon without a military motive.

But all is not lost, the orbiter is still out there working all good and it is expected to orbit the moon for an another year. Even if the lander failed, the orbiter will still carry forward the science torch for the Chandrayaan-2 mission with eight scientific instruments on it we can know a lot more about the lunar surface.

With two different high resolution cameras on it, this orbiter will be able to capture the high resolution images of the lunar surface also we have an infrared spectrometer on it which will measure the water in polar regions. An X-ray spectrometer to spot mineral elements and a radar to search for water ice inside carters are also on it.

This was to be the first moon mission to land near the moon’s fascinating south pole, in this region of the moon water ice deposits have been seen. ISRO wanted to understand their composition. All was going all planned but when Vikram lander reached up to an altitude of 2 km, but after completing the successful rough braking phase the lander lost it’s connection with the ground stations during the fine braking phase.

Lander Vikram was supposed to land softly on the moon’s surface and to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 earth days. After landing, the rover Pragyan on board was to roll down from Vikram to explore the surrounding lunar terrain. We still don’t know what actually happened to lander Vikram, ISRO scientists are still analyzing the data.

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and many space fans took to twitter to support ISRO and Chandrayaan 2 team for their incredible work.

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