Nellore: Isro may have lost contact with the Vikram lunar lander but it still has the Chandrayaan-2 which is orbiting the moon and generating data for research.
Isro officials insist that the mission cannot be called as failure, because the orbiter, equipped with eight most sophisticated gadgets will collect valuable data on the moon.
“The orbiter is healthy, intact, functioning normally and safely in the Lunar orbit,” an official told PTI.
The 2,379-kg Chandra-yaan-2, flying 100 km above the moon surface, is equipped with an imaging IR spectrometer to map the moon’s mineralogy and confirm the presence of water on the lunar surface.
Another equipment, the dual frequency synthetic aperture radar would map the polar regions and search for water-ice at the sub-surface level.
Nothing can replace the tests that Vikram and the rover Pragyaan would have performed but all is not lost, an official said.
Indian space scientists are confident that Chandrayaan-2 will last beyond its mission life of one year and therefore provide a treasure of scientific data on minerals, chemicals and water ice.
Meanwhile, former Isro chairman G. Madhavan Nair said that the Chandrayaan-2 has achieved 95 per cent of its mission objectives, the lander’s unsuccessful bid to touch-down on the Lunar surface notwithstanding.
Mr Nair said the loss of ‘Vikram’ and ‘Pragyan’ will have little impact on the overall contribution of Chandrayaan-2 mission though the setback was highly disappointing.
“If you start listing, there are at least ten points where it could have gone wrong. What has really gone wrong is difficult to predict now”, he said....