CHANDRAYAAN2: Not a big failure; orbiter is functional, lander lost touch with ISRO earth station, say scientists

NEW DELHI: It would appear that the Chandrayaan2 mission is not a full disaster. Its lander Vikram has lost contact with the ISRO base station, but the rover Pragyan is functioning, and is orbiting the moon. The orbiter is communicating with the lander Vikram but this communication is not reaching the earth from the lander. There is still hope left, and Chandrayaan2 is a partial success, according to ISRO sources. However, confirmation is awaited about the actual scenario. Efforts are on to re-connect with lander, the sources added.
The orbiter has fuel to orbit the Moon for seven years. NASA responded by saying only 40 per cent of the lunar expeditions were successful in the last 60 years. ISRO however is in a downbeat mood, for the moment because its expectation of a full success has been belied. At the precise point when the lander lost touch with the earth centre, ISRO chairman K Sivan was crestfallen and started weeping. 

Prime Minister Modi who was present to watch the progress of Chandrayaan2’s last phase performance on Friday night consoled Sivan. Later, on closer analysis, it was found that the orbiter is working in a normal manner. If it can send pictures and other information about the Moon, the mission cannot be said to be a failure.

One theory is that the lander Vikram could not withstand the extreme cold climate in the lunar south pole where it attempted landing for the first time in human history. IHN-NN

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