Chandrayaan-2 Moon mission has accomplished 90 to 95 percent of its mission objectives, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a new statement on Saturday following the loss of contact with the Vikram lander in the early hours of the day. ISRO said the “precise launch and mission management” had given the orbiter a life of “almost 7 years instead of the planned one year.” The space agency also listed the achievements of the mission thus far. ISRO has not yet provided the results of its analysis of the data collected from the lander, something it said it was doing in an earlier update today.
In an update on its site, ISRO said, “the success criteria was defined for each and every phase of the [Chandrayaan-2] mission and till date 90 to 95 percent of the mission objectives have been accomplished and will continue contribute to Lunar science , notwithstanding the loss of communication with the [Vikram] Lander.” The statement was shared on Twitter as well.
The rest of the statement reads, “Chandrayaan-2 mission was a highly complex mission, which represented a significant technological leap compared to the previous missions of ISRO, which brought together an Orbiter, Lander and Rover to explore the unexplored south pole of the Moon. Since the launch of Chandrayaan-2 on July 22, 2019, not only India but the whole world watched its progress from one phase to the next with great expectations and excitement. This was a unique mission which aimed at studying not just one area of the Moon but all the areas combining the exosphere, the surface as well as the sub-surface of the moon in a single mission.”
The ISRO statement continues, “The Orbiter has already been placed in its intended orbit around the Moon and shall enrich our understanding of the moon’s evolution and mapping of the minerals and water molecules in the Polar Regions, using its eight state-of-the-art scientific instruments. The Orbiter camera is the highest resolution camera (0.3m) in any lunar mission so far and shall provide high resolution images which will be immensely useful to the global scientific community. The precise launch and mission management has ensured a long life of almost 7 years instead of the planned one year. The Vikram Lander followed the planned descent trajectory from its orbit of 35km to just below 2km 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.”