ISRO's Chandrayaan-2 mission suffered a setback, when Vikram the Lander lost communication with ground stations while attempting do a soft-landing on the Moon’s surface at an altitude of 2.1 km early on Saturday morning.
During the last stage of the crucial Chandrayaan-2 mission, a snag occurred, where the communication link between the moon lander (Vikram) and the orbiter snapped leading to some tense moments and throwing some suspense over the mission’s fate.
With Saturday’s set-back, the Orbiter is functioning well,moving around the Moon and expected to be in orbit for over a year. While efforts are made as to how to retrieve or revive Vikram the Lander and Pragyan the Rover.
Chairman ISRO K Sivan announced that “the Vikram Lander descended as planned up to an altitude of 2.1 km and normal performance was observed during Chandrayan-2. Subsequently the communication from the lander to the ground station was lot. The data is being analysed.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had flown down to Bengaluru to see the Lander’s descent on the Moon, and sat in the visitors gallery at ISRO’s Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) Centre.
PM Modi, while addressing ISRO scientists said “There are ups and downs in life. This is not a small achievement. The nation is proud of you. Hope for the best. I congratulate you. You all have done a big service to the nation, science and mankind. I am with you all the way, move forward bravely."
He further said “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! Chairman ISRO gave updates on Chandrayaan2. We remain hopeful and will continue working hard on our space programme.”
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted “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.”