An illustration of the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter in the moon's orbit. (Image: ISRO)
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday said that 90 to 95 per cent of the Chandrayaan-2 mission objectives have been accomplished. The space agency has confirmed that it would continue contributing to Lunar science despite the loss of communication with the Lander.
ISRO lost contact with Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander just before its planned touchdown on the lunar surface, but the Orbiter, already in the intended orbit around the Moon, will continue to send vital information related to moon's evolution.
ISRO said that the precise launch and mission management has ensured a long life of almost 7 years instead of the planned one year for the orbiter.
According to ISRO, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is healthy and safe in the Lunar orbit. It will send high-resolution images and enrich the understanding of Moon's evolution, mapping of minerals and water in its polar region.
How Chandrayaan-2 Will Tell Us More About Moon
The orbiter camera is the highest resolution camera (0.3m) in any lunar mission so far and has already started providing high-resolution images. The Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) 2 is a miniature version of the TMC used onboard the Chandrayaan-1 mission.
Principal Scientific Adviser to the government of India, K Vijay Raghavan, in a series of tweets revealed how Chandrayaan-2 mission will sending vitral data and information to help the scientific community and future missions.
The TMcv2's primary objective is mapping the lunar surface in the panchromatic spectral band (0.5-0.8 microns), high spatial resolution(5m), swathe(20 km from 100 km lunar polar orbit). Data will give clues about the Moon's evolution, prepare 3D maps of the lunar surface.
CLASS measures X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectra to detect elements such as Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Calcium, Titanium, Iron, and Sodium. The XRF technique will detect these elements by measuring the characteristic X-rays they emit when excited by the Sun's rays.
XSM observes the X-rays emitted by the Sun and its corona, measures the intensity of solar radiation in these rays, and supports CLASS. Provides solar X-ray spectrum in the energy range of 1-15 ke. XSM will provide high-energy resolution and high-cadence measurements (full spectrum every second) of solar X-ray spectra as input for analysis of data from CLASS.
Imaging Infra-red spectrometer (IIRS) has two primary objectives: i. global mineralogical and volatile mapping of the Moon in the spectral range of ~0.8-5.0 µm for the first time, at the high resolution of ~20 nm. IIRS second objective is the complete characterization of water/hydroxyl feature near 3.0 µm for the first time at high spatial (~80 m) and spectral (~20 nm) resolutions.
ISRO Team Back At Work
Raghavan also said that after a moment of despondency, ISRO team has returned back to work. "It is inspirational to see this characteristic of science in collective action. Kudos to it," he tweeted.
Scientists have not given up hope on establishing contact with Chandrayaan 2 lander Vikram yet, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Sivan said on Saturday, adding that efforts to contact it will continue for the next 14 days.
A senior scientist told TOI that there is a possibility of finding the lander with the orbiter within three days.
"This is because an orbiter takes three days to come to the same point. We know the landing site, but as Vikram deviated from the path at the last minute during the final descent, we have to look in an area of 10km by 10km with SAR, IR spectrometer and camera," the report quoted the scientist as saying.