There is nothing to despair, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday as ISRO lost contact with its moon lander. India woke up to a heart-breaking news on Saturday as ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 lost contact with Vikram Lander just minutes before it’s much-anticipated soft-landing on Moon. Just 2.1 km from the touchdown, Vikram lander went silent.
“There is nothing to despair. ISRO only lost communication with the Lander & not the hopes of 1.3 billion Indians,” Naidu’s secretariat tweeted.
The vice president said the orbiter with its payloads is performing its mission.
“I salute @isro scientists, engineers & everyone else associated with Chandrayaan-2 for their hard work & dedication in trying to conquer new frontiers in space exploration,” he said.
Naidu also extended his best wishes for the Indian Space Research Organisation’s future endeavours, saying the country is proud of them.
Launched on July 22, Chandrayaan-2 entered the Moon's orbit on 20 August, a month after take-off. The touchdown of Vikram lander was scheduled between 1:30 am and 2:30 am, followed by the rollout of its rover named ‘Pragyaan’ between 5:30 am and 6.30 am. Chandrayaan-2 was the most complex mission ever attempted by the India's space agency. Had the landing gone as planned, India would have become the first country to the land a mission on the south pole of the Moon.
The 3,84,000 km journey that began on July 22 at Sriharikota launchpad was supposed to culminate with the soft-landing.In case of successful touchdown, ISRO was supposed to deploy the three payloads, named Chaste, Rambha and Ilsa. Chandrayaan-2, launched on July 22 by GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle, had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14 after final orbit raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft was successfully carried out. According to ISRO, Lunar South Pole’s region has traces of hydrogen, ammonia, methane, sodium, mercury and silver making it an untapped source of essential resources.