ISRO’s Mission Moon faces connectivity crisis moments before the historic landing.

PM Modi interacting with ISRO chairman K. Sivan after Chandrayaan 2 lost connectivity.

PM Modi consoled the ISRO chairman at this gloomy moment. Said that it is not the end, its the beginning.

The status of Chandrayaan 2 mission is unknown hours after Chandrayaan 2’s lander Vikram began final descent towards the moon and lost contact with ground control around 2.1 km from the lunar surface. A dejected ISRO chairman briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was at the ISRO headquarters to witness what would have been a historic feat. K Sivan also told media persons that ISRO was analyzing the data last sent by the lander Vikram.

The heartbreaking moment left ISRO scientists visibly distraught. ISRO said Vikram’s performance up until the moment contact with the lander was lost was perfectly normal and that it had begun analysing data to figure out what happened. 

In 2018, ISRO had deferred the lunar mission’s launch last year after a loss in communication with military satellite GSAT 6A. GSAT 6A was launched in March last year and was meant to support military communications in hostile regions using handy ground terminals. However, days later the ISRO said it had lost contact with GSAT 6A. Communication from the satellite was lost after the second firing of the on-board engine and “efforts are under way to establish the link with the satellite”, it had then said. The launch of Chandrayaan-2 was scheduled in October last year. Officials had then said they did not want to take any risk and ensure that the multi-million dollar Chandrayaan project is full-proof. The GSAT 6A setback had prompted ISRO to recall the launch of GSAT-11 from Kourou in French Guiana for additional technical checks. The setback the ISRO faced was one of the reasons behind the space agency deferring the launch of Chandrayaan to early this year, which was again pushed to July. To ensure that Chandrayaan-2 does not face any glitch, the ISRO had formed a group of experts. In August 2017, the PSLV- C39 mission, carrying the IRNSS-1H navigation satellite, failed after the heat shield did not open and release the satellite.

PM Modi said that ups and downs are a part of life, and asked the ISRO scientists to hope for the best. He congratulated scientists for serving the country and humanity. ISRO Chief K Sivan informed, ‘Vikram lander’s descent was normal till 2.1 KM but subsequently the communication from the Vikram lander to the mission station was lost. The data was being analysed.” ISRO is now analyzing the data to ascertain and will try to establish connection.

Take a look at how famous personalities reacted on this event.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh :

Prime Minister Modi‘s consolation.

Bollywood King Shah Rukh Khan‘s tweet :

Indian National Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi also responds.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi Saturday applauded the team of space scientists and researchers at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for their “incredible and praiseworthy efforts” on the Chandrayaan-2 mission. “We owe a great debt to ISRO and the brilliant men and women who staff it. Their hard work and dedication has earned India a place in the league of space-faring nations and have inspired generations to reach for the stars,” she said.

The lessons learned from India’s “bold attempt” to soft land Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram module on the lunar surface will help the country during its future missions, former NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger said on Saturday. Linengar, who flew on Russian space station Mir that operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001 for five months, took take part in the live telecast of Chandrayaan-2 landing attempt on the National Geographic Channel. “We should not be too discouraged. India was trying to do something very, very difficult. In fact, everything was going as planned as the lander came down,” Linenger told PTI in an email interview. Linenger noted that the lander “unfortunately” never quite made it to the hover point – which is an altitude of about 400 meters above the lunar surface. “…if it had made it to that point, and even if it had not succeeded beyond that, it would have been helpful because the radar altimeters and lasers could have been tested. But if you step back and look at the big picture, this (attempt) would obviously be very helpful for follow on missions,” he said.

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