Spacecraft was operating as expected until an altitude of 2.1 kilometers. (Photo: DD News)
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief K Sivan on Saturday said that the last phase of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander was not executed correctly and subsequently, the ground station lost contact with the mission. "The last portion was not executed the right way, in that phase only we lost link with the Lander, and could not establish communication subsequently," ISRO chief told state-run DD News.
India’s ambitions to join the elite list of countries touching down the lunar surface faced a snap on Saturday as the trajectory of Chandrayaan-2’s lander diverged from its planned path moments before the landing. The initial part of the mission went smoothly, and spacecraft was operating as expected until an altitude of 2.1 kilometres.
The failure to soft land on the lunar surface delayed India’s ambition to join the elite list of countries that have successfully touched down the Moon surface. After the ground station lost signal from Vikram lander, Sivan broke down in tears and was consoled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who watched the landing attempt live at ISRO’s Bengaluru headquarters.
"PM is a source of inspiration and support for us. His speech gave us motivation. In his speech,the special phrase that I noted was: 'Science should not be looked for results, but for experiments and experiments will lead to results'," the ISRO chief said.
However, ISRO said that tough it lost contact with the lander, the Chandrayaan was 90 to 95 per cent successful and its orbiter would continue sending crucial data from the lunar orbit.
"The Orbiter has already been placed in its intended orbit around the Moon and shall enrich our understanding of the moon’s evolution and mapping of the minerals and water molecules in the Polar Regions, using its eight state-of-the-art scientific instruments," the agency said in a statement.