'Chandrayaan-2 mission huge success': ISRO chief K Sivan says Orbiter doing well but no contact with Vikram Lander

'Chandrayaan-2 mission huge success': ISRO chief K Sivan says Orbiter doing well but no contact with Vikram Lander

Sivan said ISRO's next priority is Gaganyaan mission.

Even though Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is yet to establish contact with Vikram Lander, agency chief K Sivan on Saturday said that the Chandrayaan-2 mission has achieved 98% of its objectives as the orbiter is doing very well. 

Sivan said the eight instruments in the orbiter are doing exactly what they are meant to do. 

Talking to reporters before attending IIT- Bhubaneswar's 8th convocation ceremony, Sivan said, “Why we are saying Chandrayaan-2 achieved 98 per cent success is because of two objectives -- one is science and the other technology demonstration. In case of technology demonstration, the success percentage was almost full."

"Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is doing very well. There are eight instruments in the orbiter and each instrument is doing exactly what it's meant to do. Regarding the lander, we have not been able to establish communication with it," he said. 

Sivan said ISRO's next priority is Gaganyaan mission. 

Later, addressing the convocation ceremony, he said, "To undertake Chandrayaan 2 mission comprised a very large science component and a small technological demonstration component of performing soft landing near the south pole region of the moon. The bulk of the instruments to carry out the interplanetary science is in the orbiter."

"The orbiter was designed for only a year but due to optimal mission operations, the orbiter's life has increased to seven-and-a-half-years. This means that scientists will receive 7.5 times the data expected. 

I will say Chandrayaan 2 is a huge success. This will also result in the mapping of the entire lunar surface in great precision," Sivan remarked. The ISRO chief underlined that in the soft-landing part, two mission phases were completed successfully till the altitude of 300 metres from the lunar surface.

 "This validated all new technological elements of navigation sensors and propulsion. Therefore, excepting the soft landing, all other technologies were also validated," he said.

On Thursday, ISRO informed that the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter continues to perform the mission to complete satisfaction while experts are still analysing the communication loss with Vikram lander. 

Earlier this month, ISRO Chairman K Sivan had stated that the Chandryaan-2 orbiter had clicked a thermal image of the lander. The world witnessed Prime Minister Narendra Modi consoling Sivan after he failed to hold back his emotions following the loss of communication with the component on September 7. 

ISRO had announced the development and said that communication was lost with Vikram minutes before its soft landing on the surface of the moon.

The lander, Vikram, was to soft-land on the far side of the moon on September 7. The component had successfully separated from the Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter on September 2. 

After revolving around the Earth's orbit for nearly 23 days. The craft had begun its journey to the moon on August 14. 

The mission took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 22.