Indian Space Research Organisation Chief K Sivan has revealed that they have not been able to establish contact with Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram, putting the country’s hopes to a disappointing rest.
Chances of reestablishing contact with the lander are slim to none, since it has reached the end of its 14-day mission life. Even NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) could not capture an image of the lander where it attempted descent.
The lander’s mission life has lapsed due to the fall of the lunar night in the south polar region of the moon, where the lander attempted its descent.
Since the lander would be in a position where it will not be able to get any more sunlight and generate power for its functioning, the temperatures could get so low that they could freeze the lander’s instruments.
ISRO’s attempt to soft land on the lunar surface on September 7 was met with a last-minute snag that led to the loss of communication with the lander. The consequent 14-day period was taken to try to regain communication, but it did not work out. ISRO Chief K Sivan said,
Chandrayaan 2 orbiter is doing very well. There are eight instruments in the orbiter and each instrument is doing exactly what it meant to do. But we have not been able to establish communication with the lander yet. We have to understand what happened to the that lander, that is our first priority.
According to Sivan, the mission achieved 98% success, despite losing the lander. Sivan added,
Why we are saying Chandrayaan-2 achieved 98 per cent success is because of two objectives — one is science and the other technology demonstration. In case of technology demonstration, the success percentage was almost full.
Sivan has also mentioned that ISRO is now focusing it’s efforts towards Gaganyaan, making it their next priority.
The ISRO is focusing on another moon mission by 2020.