In the wee hours of today morning, India lay awake with baited breath to see Chandrayaan-2 make its final approach to land on the Moon's surface.
Unfortunately, when the Moon lander Vikram was in its final descending phase, at around 2.1 km from the lunar surface ISRO lost communication with the lander. While the status of Vikram remains unknown, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is still in Moon's orbit, as was planned.
This is Mission Control Centre. #VikramLander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, communication from Lander to the ground stations was lost. Data is being analyzed.#ISRO— ISRO (@isro) September 6, 2019
Despite losing 5% of their mission, India has stood together in support of ISRO, celebrating the mission. The mission was successful due to the hard work and consistent efforts of a group of scientists and engineers, who put in their all across years to make sure Chandrayaan-2 sees glory. Here are some names which deserve recognition.
Annadurai, who is also called 'Moon Man' is a Padma Shri awardee and Vice President for Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology. He joined ISRO in 1982, and was the Program Director for Chandrayaan-1 as well. He has also been the Mission Director for many satellites launched by ISRO.
Ritu Karidhal, referred to as the 'Rocket Woman of India', is the Mission Director of Chandrayaan-2. She joined ISRO as a young engineer in November 1997. Karidhal also received the ISRO Young Scientist Award in 2007. She was also the Deputy Operations Director for the Mars Orbiter Mission.
M. Vanitha is the first woman to hold the position of Project Director at ISRO. She is a design engineer by training and she received the Best Woman Scientist award in 2006 by the Astronomical Society of India. She has been a part of ISRO for over 32 years.
Chandrakanta Kumar is the Deputy Project Director responsible for the RF system of Chandrayaan-2. Chandrakanta joined ISRO in 2001, and now heads the electromagnetics section of the U. R. Rao Space Centre.
Amitabh is the Deputy Project Director for Chandrayaan-2. He handles the optical payload data processing and on-board algorithm related to Chandrayaan-2 Lander and Rover.
It is thanks to this team at ISRO that India continues to reach new heights in space exploration. We're proud of them.