Chandrayaan-II: The Final Mile

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Chandrayaan-II: The Final Mile

 

After a spate of bated breaths from not just across the nation, but the World and the scientific fraternity, the “Vikram Lander” component of Chandrayaan-II cut off its contact with the ground stations at around 02:00 IST about a mile and a half from the lunar surface. This was later confirmed by the ISRO, despite background works were in full-swing to restore communications.

 

In spite of the 1,471 kg Lander going soft, the Chandrayaan-II mission is still a case of stupendous success, for ISRO and India given that 95% of the mission reliance is on the Orbiter which was inserted on 20th August 2019. This will be used to gauge and analyze data about the Lunar South pole, a.k.a the “dark side” of the moon. The Vikram lander named after the father of Indian Space Science, Shri. Vikram Sarabhai was supposed to study and evaluate data of the Lunar south pole surface and had a design functional life of about 14 days equivalent to one lunar day. It was also designed to communicate with the Pragyan, the Rover vehicle and had a stipulated capability of 650W worth of power generation.

 

The loss of communication from the lander lead to a glum mood in the ISRO premises, and the press conference was canceled. However, the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, ministers, political parties, Opposition leaders and the Nation, unanimously thronged in support of ISRO for their dedication and hard work, which have made our flag flutter high amongst the pantheons of Space success. The Prime Minister encouraged ISRO not to give up hope and vested gratitude for the amount of work and transformation that the Space scientists had given to the Nation while declaring that their best was yet to come. In spite of the heart-warming gestures pooling across the nation, the scene of the ISRO chairman, Dr. Kailasavadivoo Sivan breaking down, and being consoled by the PM was heart-breaking.

 

The Chandrayaan-II Mission was launched successfully from Sriharikota on the 22nd of July, 2019 and was one of the first-of-its-kind missions intended for a touchdown at the Lunar South Pole, a place with growing interest for Space Exploration. It has been one of the earliest missions to this arena, the other being China’s Change 4 mission. This would further ignite hopes of India’s grand Space Manne Mission- Gaganyaan, slated to soar past the skies around December 2021.

 

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