The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) on Saturday evening joined other international space organisations and experts to praise the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) attempt to land its Chandrayaan-2 mission on the South Pole of the Moon.
"Space is hard. We commend Isro’s attempt to land their Chandrayaan-2 mission on the Moon’s South Pole," NASA tweeted.
"You have inspired us with your journey and look forward to future opportunities to explore our solar system together," the US space agency added.
Space is hard. We commend @ISRO’s attempt to land their #Chandrayaan2 mission on the Moon’s South Pole. You have inspired us with your journey and look forward to future opportunities to explore our solar system together. https://t.co/pKzzo9FDLL— NASA (@NASA) September 7, 2019
India's bold mission to soft-land on moon suffered a setback during the wee hours on Saturday, with Chandrayaan-2's 'Vikram' module losing communication with ground stations, just 2.1 km from the lunar surface during its final descent.
The ISRO, however, said till date 90 to 95 per cent of the Chandrayaan-2 mission objectives have been accomplished and it would continue contributing to Lunar science despite the loss of communication with the Lander.
The space agency also said the precise launch and mission management had ensured a long life of almost seven years instead of the planned one year for the orbiter.
"The Vikram Lander followed the planned descent trajectory from its orbit of 35 km to just below 2 km above the surface.
All the systems and sensors of the Lander functioned excellently until this point and proved many new technologies such as variable thrust propulsion technology used in the Lander," ISRO said in an update.
The success criteria was defined for each and every phase of the mission and till date 90 to 95 per cent of the mission's objectives have been accomplished and it would continue contributing to Lunar science, notwithstanding the loss of communication with the Lander, it said.
The successful landing would have made India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to achieve a soft landing on the moon, also the first to launch mission to the unexplored south pole of the Moon.
Pointing out that the orbiter has already been placed in its intended orbit around the Moon, ISRO said, "It shall enrich our understanding of the moons evolution and mapping of the minerals and water molecules in the Polar Regions, using its eight state-of-the-art scientific instruments."