India’s Chandrayaan 2 mission is not a fail. Maybe soft-landing on the Moon has gone off-script, but the ambitious Chandrayaan 2 mission has been far from a flop.
“Only 5 percent of the mission has been lost – Vikram the lander and Pragyan the rover – while the remaining 95 percent – that is the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter – is orbiting the moon successfully,” an official of the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO told news agency IANS.
Here are some facts you should know about India’s Chandrayaan 2 mission:
- India came 0.0006 percent close to becoming the first to do a soft-landing and the fourth country to land a vessel on the lunar surface.
- Chandrayaan 2 traveled a distance of 3,83,998 km out of 3,84,000 km between Earth and Moon.
- The communications went silent just 2.1 kilometers above the lunar surface.
- The communication data which is missing is still being analyzed for divergence.
- The Chandrayaan 2 lunar orbiter is still in operation and will continue to study the Moon from afar.
- The orbiter can take several images of the Moon and send it to the ISRO over the next year. It can also take pictures of the lander to find out its status too.
The mission stood out because of its low cost of about $140 million whereas NASA spent more than $100 billion on its Apollo missions. The Chandrayaan 2 mission also has other great significance for future space exploration, including those to Mars.
On Saturday early morning, when the entire nation awaited to witness the historic moment, the Moon lander Vikram lost its communication with the ground station. ISRO officials added that the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2 second lunar mission remains healthy and safe.
As per records, from 2009-2019, ten missions have been launched altogether out of which five were sent by India, three by the US, and one each by Israel and India.