ISRO chief K Sivan has confirmed that communications with Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander have been lost.
Live visuals from the ISRO command center was on and the “15 minutes of terror” was about to end with its lander just minutes away from landing when the communication got lost. ISRO is still awaiting a signal from Vikram lander. If the mission had been successful, India would have become the fourth country to land a spacecraft intact on the Moon.
“Vikram Lander dissent was as planned, and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 KM. Subsequently, the communications from the lander to the ground station have lost the data is been analyzed.” – ISRO Chairperson
As per a timeline released earlier by ISRO, the Vikram lander was to land at 1:53 am and the rover Pragyan was scheduled to roll down a ramp at 5:19 am. In an extraordinary moment, the rover was to click a photograph of the lander at 5:45 am.
It has been an intense situation for ISRO as well as for all Indians as the landing would have created a history. But nothing can be yet confirmed; anxiety is writ large on the faces of the scientists. Though the rollout of rover Pragyan was scheduled between 5.30 am, and 6.30 am, it is challenging to assume anything now.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present along with dozens of other students from across the country who were selected by ISRO through an online quiz to watch the final descent of the Vikram lander.
“There are ups and downs in life. This is not a small achievement. The nation is proud of you. Hope for the best. I congratulate you. You all have done a big service to the nation, science, and mankind. I am with you all the way, move forward bravely.” – PM Narendra Modi
Let’s wait for the final confirmation and hold our hope high for a successful mission of ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2.