India’s second tryst with the moon began on July 22 in the form of ISRO’s lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 (which translates to “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit). The spacecraft was successfully launched into Earth’s orbit and its destination was the Moon’s South Pole.
According to Business Standard, it carried the moon lander ‘Vikram’ and a robotic rover named ‘Pragyan’ which would probe the craters on the far side of the moon that remain untouched by sunlight.
Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, #GSLVMkIII_M1 rocket, carrying #Chandrayaan2 spacecraft, lifting off from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, in Andhra Pradesh pic.twitter.com/wA4fsmzSaj
— PIB India (@PIB_India) July 22, 2019
The soft landing of Vikram was planned between 1:30 am to 2:30 am on September 7. As per The Economic Times reports, the four-phase descent included a 15-minute period of autonomous landing where ISRO scientists could not control it or send it any commands. Chairman K Sivan announced that the “15 minutes of terror” were overcome and the rough braking phase completed.
However, at an altitude of 2.1 km, the communication link with the lander was lost. It could not bring down its speed from 6,048 km per hour to 7 km per hour, reports The Indian Express.
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
Subsequently, the ISRO Chief broke down and was comforted by PM Narendra Modi.
Tears & A Hug. Scientists of ISRO put their life and innumerable sleepless nights to Dream & make it this far. RESPECT.
— Rosy (@rose_k01) September 7, 2019
The Prime Minister said, “We are full of confidence that when it comes to our space program, the best is yet to come, there are new frontiers to discover and new places to go to, we will rise to the occasion and scale newer heights of success.”
People echoed the same sentiments saying that the real success was in making a satellite at home, of travelling 3,84,400 km in space and inspiring young minds to dream even bigger.
Khwaab Adhoora raha par Hauslein Zinda hain ,
Isro woh hai, jahaan mushkilein Sharminda hain .
Hum Honge Kaaamyab #Chandrayan2
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) September 7, 2019
The landing part doesn’t seem to have gone well. It doesn’t diminish the collective achievement of ISRO even one bit though. & that’s not bravado; it’s placing science at a higher pedestal than technology. The latter only follows after we’ve mastered the former. #Chandrayan2
— Roshan Kishore (@Roshanjnu) September 6, 2019
Thank you #ISRO for uniting us over this one monument.Everytime I see this pic I get goosebumps.
The #Chandrayan2 didn't reach the moon but it touched the hearts of all of us with your efforts.
From now on 2.8 Bn eyes will be on the moon every night saying "We will be back" ❤️ pic.twitter.com/dyhZBMqox6
— Atul Khatri (@one_by_two) September 7, 2019
— Vidhy_Fate (@ln_vidhya) September 7, 2019
— Priyanka Jaiswal (@jaiswalp321) September 7, 2019
— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) September 7, 2019
It's not the destination, But the efforts with sheer determination & zeal to reach there, which counts mainly.
We might have left short by just 2 kms out of 3,84,400 kms, But this 2 km will give us the fire to do the impossible.#ProudISRO #Chandrayan2 #ProudIndian
— suraj singh (@surajsingh20) September 7, 2019
— Shanu Singh (@Shanuholism) September 7, 2019
— Nelson Ji ᴺᴷᴾ (@Nelson_Ji) September 7, 2019
If there's on organization that has made us proud over last 40 years it is @isro. No other space agency in the world has been able to achieve so much with negligible budgets and such short timelines. Period. #Chandrayan2
— Anurag Dixit (@bhootnath) September 7, 2019
Watching the #Vikramlander to land at the South Pole of the moon at 2am in the night and missing it by a couple of kilometres is really heart wrenching for the whole team of #Chandrayan2 ,but nevertheless we are with you and are always proud of you @isro comeback stronger 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼 pic.twitter.com/MKGXwJ74aH
— Sai Dharam Tej (@IamSaiDharamTej) September 7, 2019
When was the last time citizens stayed awake to watch a launch? We are changing. Our zeal to achieve something is becoming stronger. Our interest in science and technology is growing. Our grandchildren are reaching out to the space and beyond. This is the success.#Chandrayan2
— R.S. Bains (@HerrBains) September 6, 2019
Orbitor is out there doing its duty. Vikram will return. That's a promise we Indians will fulfill very soon.#Chandrayan2
— R.S. Bains (@HerrBains) September 6, 2019
— Siva Singaravelu (@SivaSingaravelu) September 7, 2019
News18 quoted an ISRO official saying,
“Only 5 per cent of the mission has been lost — Vikram, the lander, and Pragyan, the rover. The remaining 95 per cent, that is the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, is orbiting the moon successfully.”
We look forward to the images that the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter will send back home during its mission life of one year (including those of the lander and its fate).
To infinity and beyond!