Chandrayaan-2: Why it’s not a failure, Instead its a part of the process
ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 mission had a successful liftoff on July 22, at 2.43 pm IST from a launchpad in Sriharikota. It carried a lander and orbiter, and the rover tucked into the Lander. The Lander Vikram attempted a soft landing on the Moon by September 7, on which however it lost control. The Indian space agency used the GSLV Mk-III which is the most massive rocket to be built by India.
Chandraayan’s journey started just two days after the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission that landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon. On July 22, 2019, Chandrayaan 2 set off on a 384,400-km journey towards the Moon.
Once in space, the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft performed a series of manoeuvres around the Earth to acquire the necessary momentum which was meant to let it slingshot into an orbit around the Moon, which happened successfully.
As the south pole of the Moon remains more in the shadow than the north pole. Scientists believe that the craters which are permanently shadowed could have frozen water on the Moon due to the planet cash theory. In planet crash theory it is believed that when the Earth was born around 30-50 million years ago, A rock named Theia which was 100 million times bigger than the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. It was almost the size of Mars crashed into Earth and created Moon from the large chunks of rocks separated from Earth. He critical compound that is needed to sustain life that may have been transferred from our mother planet to our nearest cosmic companion.
After the Chandrayaan 2 completed its journey successfully from Sriharikota in India to the Moon, After completing almost 95% of its mission as per the ISRO. ISRO lost communications with the Vikram lander when it was about 2.1 kilometers from the surface of the Moon, which saddened all the engineers who worked very hard for years to make this mission a reality.
India’s achievement and why ISRO Deserves all the recognition.
Till now, there have been 38 attempts of ‘soft landing’ on the surface of the Moon, out of which only 20 were successful. So, the September 7 soft landing was a challenging test for Chandrayaan-2.
Chandrayaan-2 had three components — an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. The lender failed to soft-land on September 7 however the orbiter is intact, perfectly fine and is orbiting. According to the latest announcement by ISRO, Chandrayaan-2 orbiter may last up to 7 years which is nothing but good news.
The launch mass of the spacecraft was 3,877 kg. The 2.5-m-long orbiter weighs 2,379 kg, the 3.5-m-high lander weighs 1,471 kg, and the 1-m-high rover weighs 27 kg.
The Lander and the orbiter each consisted of 650 kg propellant to manoeuvre and pushed brakes while attempting to reach their destination.
The Lander made a controlled descent for 17 minutes on to the lunar surface. As it was automated, It is not clear yet if it landed safely or not as ISRO lost the communication of it when it was about 2.1KM from the surface of the Moon.
What ISRO has done,Completing 95% of its mission with an allocated cost of ₹978 crore (approximately US$141 million) which included ₹603 crore for space segment and ₹375 crore as launch costs on GSLV Mk III ,which is even lower than the movie Avenger’s Endgame’s budget of 356 Million US$ is just remarkable in itself.
Failures are a part of science, and it’s the failures with the recorded data, from which we learn from and improve our next try.
“We’ve found the location of Vikram Lander on lunar surface & orbiter has clicked a thermal image of Lander. But there is no communication yet. We are trying to have contact. It will be communicated soon.” – ISRO Chairman K Sivan announced on September 8.
For now, we can only hope to reconnect with the Lander.even if it doesn’t, we should still be grateful to ISRO Scientists for the amazing work they have done by completing 95% of their actual mission. We wish the best for them while hoping they make it to the south pole of the Moon next time.