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Our eyes were locked to the screen & there was no sign of sleep. The whole nation wanted to witness the iconic moment when Vikram Lander was to land on the South Pole of the Moon, where no nation has reached before. Everything went on correctly in the mission until the final descent. We are not clear why the Vikram lander stopped sending the signals, but the data is being analyzed to figure out why it happened. We will dare again, we will fly back, and we will land on the moon. To that courage, here are the reasons that the mission is still a success:
The hard work of 11 years
The ISRO team of scientists worked tirelessly for 11 years to make the second lunar mission a reality! They dreamed to achieve the impossible making India 4th nation to do a landing on the lunar surface.
Launched in July 2019
Chandrayaan-2 mission was launched toward the moon in July 2019 atop GSLV MkIII-M1 rocket. The launch took place from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.
A step towards technological advancement
It was a test to demonstrate the world-class technological efficiency of Indian space missions. It aimed to deepen our understanding of the space & a step towards technological advancement which would further promote global alliances!
An attempt to trace the scope of life
The purpose of the Chandrayaan-2 mission was to analyze the lunar topography & to trace any presence of hydroxyl & water ice while demonstrating the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface.
It aimed to explore the origin of moon
The moon is the earliest object in the solar system to have linkage to the Earth. Had India established a connection with the lunar surface, it would have been possible to gain insights on the origin & evolution of the moon.
We aimed to reach the lunar South Pole
We chose to land on the South pole of the moon because it is the dark side of the moon. It is believed there is some ice there which remains under shadows. If there is ice present on the moon, there is a hope that life can be established there.
The 3 elements of the Chandrayaan-2
The mission had 3 important components- The orbiter, the lander Vikram & rover Pragyan. The orbiter & rover were to remain in orbit while the lander Vikram to make a soft landing on the south pole of the moon.
High five from the orbiter
It was the moment to cherish when the lander & orbiter successfully entered the orbit on August 20th while separated on September 2 which made the mission a partial success for the ISRO.
The role of the orbiter
The orbiter is circling the moon at an altitude of 100*100 km & aimed to communicate the findings of the rover. The rover would transmit the findings via the lander Vikram.
The orbiter to perform lunar mapping
The orbiter carries 8 payloads. It is able to provide high-resolution maps of the lunar surface. It would examine the intensity of solar radiation & make an estimation of water-ice in polar regions of the moon.
Similarity to Earth crust
The orbiter would examine the presence of major elements as magnesium, aluminum, silicon, calcium, titanium, iron & sodium thus exploring the trace of life along with the source of non-renewable resources on the lunar land.
The lander Vikram
Vikram is the lander in mission Chandrayaan 2. It was designed to function for one lunar day equivalent to 14 Earth days. It was supposed to communicate with the communication antennae- IDSN at Byalalu near Bangalore along with the rover & the orbiter. This would enable analysis at the end of ISRO.
What If the Vikram lander survived?
Had the Vikram lander survived , it would work for fourteen days only. The main mission was to successfully establish the orbiter in the moon’s orbit, which we did so please cheer up.
The intricacies of Vikram
The lander was to maneuver into 30*100 km orbit & was supposed to land on the surface of the lunar south pole between 2 crater- Manzinus C & Simpelius N on September 7th between 1:30 AM to 2:30 AM Indian Standard Time.
15 minutes of terror
The powered descent of Vikram lander was described as “The 15 Minutes Of Terror” by ISRO Chairman Dr. K. Sivan. The moments filled with anxiety of successful landing when eyes of millions would be glued to their screens.
The braking phase
The lander Vikram was successful in slowing itself down & overcoming rough braking phases. It was just 2 minutes away from the soft landing while it was in the vertical descent phase.
Lander Vikram lost all contact
he robotic lander just before the descent lost all communication with the ground station. It was 2.1 km above the lunar surface making the million hearts skipping a beat.
Have a look at the animated version of mission Chandrayaan–2
The leader to witness the moment
PM Modi was present to witness the momentous event, and after we lost signal, like a true leader, he motivated all the hard-working scientists of ISRO.
Grief turned into smile
As the PM took the podium, his first words were Bharat Mata ki Jai, which sent goosebumps to our skin. It sent smiles on the faces of the grieving scientists.
True warriors of the nation
As soon as PM Modi began his speech, he reminded all the scientists what they mean to the country. They are the true sons and daughters of Bharat Maata, and they are warriors of our nation.
Not all is lost
38 soft landing attempts were made with the success rate of 52% at the space station in Bengaluru. Since the takeoff on July 22nd, the team of ISRO had been working tirelessly for 16 hours a day analyzing orbit & performing simulations.
Record breaking cost
It’s laudable that ISRO achieved such huge feat at a low cost of $ 140 million whereas the US spent more than $ 100 billion on its Apollo Missions.
Chandrayaan 1- a major feat achieved
India achieved a major feat as it developed indigenous technology during the launch of Chandrayaan 1 & was successful to insert the vehicle into the lunar orbit on November 8, 2008 making giving a major boost to India’s space program.
We are proud of ISRO Chairman K.SIvan
We are proud of the ISRO team led by Chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan as they dreamt the impossible. They did a commendable job by giving their best to the mission Chandrayaan-2.
We are still successful
Only 5% of the mission that is Pragyan & Vikram has been lost while 95% of the mission is still successful. As the orbiter is still safely operating in the lunar orbit with a year-long journey ahead!
Courageous we wil be
The efforts made by team ISRO were appreciated by PM Modi as he cheered up the nation- “We are proud of our scientists. They’ve given their best & have always made India proud. These are the moments to be courageous, and the courageous we will be!”
We are getting stronger
Modi Ji has proclaimed that our conviction, dedication, and will has only grown stronger after Chandrayan-2. “We remain hopeful & will continue working hard on our space program.”
We are hopeful!
The world is eagerly waiting to get an update of the Vikram lander. We are still hopeful as the ISRO team is analyzing the data. Let’s remember “The best is yet to come!”