BENGALURU — A national-level committee comprising academics and ISRO experts is analysing the cause of communication loss with Chandrayaan-2 lander ahead of its planned soft landing on the lunar surface, the space agency said on Thursday.
The Indian Space Research Organisation also said the orbiter of India’s second lunar mission continued to perform scheduled science experiments to “complete satisfaction” and performance of all its payloads was “satisfactory”.
“All Payloads of orbiter are powered. Initial trials for orbiter payloads are completed successfully. Performance of all orbiter Payloads is satisfactory. Orbiter continues to perform scheduled science experiments to complete satisfaction,” the city-headquartered ISRO said in an update on its website.
“National-level committee consisting of academicians and ISRO experts is analysing the cause of communication loss with lander,” it added.
Lander Vikram, with rover Pragyaan, lost communication with ground station on September 7 during its final descent, just 2.1 kms above the lunar surface, minutes before the planned touch-down on the Moon.
Efforts to reestablish the link have been on since then, but hopes of a positive result appear to be fading away.
The lander, designed to execute a soft-landing on the lunar surface, and the rover, have a mission life of one Lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 earth days.
On September 8, ISRO said the lander was spotted on the lunar surface by camera on-board the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.
ISRO, from the day of losing contact with the lander, had been upbeat about the performance of the orbiter.
Till date 90 to 95% of the Chandrayaan-2 mission objectives have been accomplished and it will continue contributing to lunar science, not withstanding the loss of communication with the lander, ISRO had said on September 7.
It had also noted that the precise launch and mission management has ensured a long life of almost seven years instead of the planned one year for the orbiter.
The orbiter carries eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and study the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon.
The Chandrayaan-2 is a Rs 978 crore unmanned moon mission with the satellite alone costing Rs 603 crore while the launch vehicle Rs 375 crore.
India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV MkIII-M1 successfully launched the 3,840-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into the Earth’s orbit on July 22.
The spacecraft successfully entered the lunar orbit on August 20 by performing Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre, and on September 2, ‘Vikram’ successfully separated from the orbiter.