Chandrayaan 2: The hope for a new dawn
Officials say that the rover and lander might be lost; Modi consoles Dr. Sivan and addresses the nation with the hopes of a new dawn.
ISRO may have lost Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander and rover Pragyan housed inside it, a senior official of the space agency associated with the unmanned moon mission said here Saturday. Earlier in the day, contact from the lander to the ground stations was lost during its powered descent to the Lunar surface minutes before the planned touch-down. "Vikram lander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, the communications from the lander to ground stations was lost," ISRO chief K Sivan said. "The data is being analysed," he added.
Speaking to PTI, a senior official closely associated with the mission, said later: "There is no communication with the lander. It's as good as lost. There is no hope. Very, very difficult to re-establish contact".
Chandrayaan-2, a follow-on mission to the Chandrayaan-1 mission undertaken more than a decade ago, comprises an orbiter, lander and rover. The 1,471-kg lander of Chandrayaan-2 -- first Indian mission to explore the lunar terrain with home-grown technology -- is named Vikram after Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, the father of the Indian space programme. The lander was designed to execute a soft landing on the lunar surface, and to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 earth days. Chandrayaan-2's 27-kg rover is a six-wheeled robotic vehicle named Pragyan, which translates to 'wisdom' in Sanskrit. On September 2nd, ISRO had successfully carried out the separation of lander Vikram (with rover Pragyan housed inside) from the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.
It was designed to travel up to 500 metres from the landing spot on the Moon and leverage solar energy for its functioning. The lander carried three scientific payloads to conduct surface and subsurface science experiments, while the rover carried two payloads to enhance our understanding of the lunar surface, according to ISRO. The mission life of the orbiter will be one year while that of the rover was to be one lunar day which is equal to 14 earth days.
Chandrayaan-2 orbiter healthy in lunar orbit: ISRO official
The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is healthy and safe in the Lunar orbit, an ISRO official said after the Vikram lander lost contact with ground stations minutes before the touchdown on Moon's surface early on Saturday. "The orbiter is healthy, intact, functioning normally and safely in the Lunar orbit," the official told PTI. The mission life of the 2,379-kg orbiter is one year. The orbiter payloads will conduct remote-sensing observations from a 100 km orbit.
The orbiter carries eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and study the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon.
A New Dawn: PM Modi
Morale boosting messages poured in from various quarters for ISRO as several leaders asked the space agency not to get disheartened after Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander lost contact with ground stations minutes before its planned touchdown on the lunar surface.
India is proud of our scientists! They’ve given their best and have always made India proud. These are moments to be courageous, and courageous we will be!— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 6, 2019
Chairman @isro gave updates on Chandrayaan-2. We remain hopeful and will continue working hard on our space programme.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked ISRO scientists not to get disheartened by the hurdles in the moon mission Chandrayaan-2 and asserted that there will be a "new dawn".
Addressing the scientists hours after ISRO announced that it had lost communication with the lander, he also said that the country's determination to land on the moon has become even stronger.
"We came very close, but we need to cover more ground.... Learnings from today will make us stronger and better," he told the scientists, adding, "The best is yet to come in our space programme. India is with you."
#WATCH PM Narendra Modi: We will rise to the occasion and reach even newer heights of success. To our scientists I want to say- India is with you. You are exceptional professionals who have made an incredible contribution to national progress. #Chandrayaan2 pic.twitter.com/0378MUcHuv— ANI (@ANI) September 7, 2019
Modi had earlier watched the proceedings as the lander began its descent towards the moon surface at an ISRO centre here.
We are with you @isro. You have brought the nation, it’s young minds and all, together in sensing your achievements in Space. You will succeed.— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) September 6, 2019
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman too extended her support to the ISRO scientists. She tweeted, "We are with you ISRO. You have brought the nation, its young minds and all, together in sensing your achievements in Space. You will succeed."
My dear @isro scientists, your courage is unparalleled. I am reminded of Atal ji’s beautiful poem.....— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) September 6, 2019
हार नहीं मानूंगा
रार नई ठानूंगा
काल के कपाल पे
लिखता मिटाता हूं
गीत नया गाता हूं ....
स्वर्णिम भारत का सपना हमने मिलकर देखा है !
आपके प्रयत्न शीघ्र फल लाएँगे#Chandrayaan2
The Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan urged the scientists not to give up and that success was failure turned inside out. "The silver tint of the clouds of doubt You never can tell how close you are It may be near when it seems so far. You have done your best for Chandrayaan-2!" he tweeted. He was optimistic that the ISRO scientists would accomplish the mission in the future.
ISRO’s achievement with getting Chandrayaan-2 so far has made every Indian proud.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) September 6, 2019
India stands with our committed and hard working scientists at @isro.
My best wishes for future endeavours.
In a tweet, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said ISRO's achievement with getting Chandrayaan-2 so far has made every Indian proud and added that the country stood with the committed and hard working scientists of ISRO. ".. My best wishes for future endeavours," he said.
Congratulations to the team at #ISRO for their incredible work on the Chandrayaan 2 Moon Mission. Your passion & dedication is an inspiration to every Indian. Your work is not in vain. It has laid the foundation for many more path breaking & ambitious Indian space missions. ????????— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 6, 2019
While congratulating ISRO, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said their work was not in vain. "It (Chandrayaan-2) has laid the foundation for many more path breaking and ambitious Indian space missions," Gandhi said. The Congress party too extended its support to the ISRO. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said there was no need for ISRO to lose heart. "Our scientists have done a great job," he tweeted.
What a phenomenal achievement!!!! We are there..... we shall remain hopeful and courageous and have no doubt that we will cover the last mile.....SOON— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) September 6, 2019
The public has rallied around ISRO, leaving comments of overwhelming support.
PM Narendra Modi addressing ISRO scientists: Friends I could feel what you were going through few hours back, your eyes were conveying a lot. You live for India's honour, I salute you. #Chandrayaan2 pic.twitter.com/cF63Mv8fqY— ANI (@ANI) September 7, 2019