By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, Sep 7 (IANS) Even though the fate and the status of Vikram India’s moon lander is not known – whether it crash-landed or the communication link got cut – all is not lost as far as the Rs 978 crore Chandrayaan-2 mission is concerned, an ISRO official said on Saturday.
“Only 5 per cent of the mission has been lost – Vikram the lander and Pragyan the rover – while the remaining 95 per cent – that is the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter – is orbiting the moon successfully,” an official of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), who did not want to be identified told IANS.
With a mission life of one year, the Orbiter can take several pictures of the moon and send it to the ISRO.
The Orbiter can also take pictures of the lander to know its status, the space agency official said.
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft comprised three segments – the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), ‘Vikram’ (1,471 kg, four payloads) and ‘Pragyan’ (27 kg, two payloads).
On September 2, the Vikram separated from the Orbiter.
On July 22, the Rs 978 crore Chandrayaan-2 was launched into the space by India’s heavy lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III) in a text book style.
After five earth-bound orbit raising activities, Chandrayaan-2 was inserted into lunar orbit.
In a last stage snag, the communication link between the moon lander and the orbiter got snapped as the former was descending towards the moon’s South Pole early on Saturday, throwing suspense over the mission’s fate