India to undertake space mission Gaganyaan next year: ISRO

Vikram Lander

Vikram Lander

Hopes of re-establishing contact with India's moon mission Chandrayaan-2's lander seems to be all but over with its 14-day mission life set to end and the Lunar night falling early Saturday.

On Thursday, India's Space Research Organization said that the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter was doing its job in the Moon's orbit, performing experiments as planned.

"There are eight instruments in the orbiter and each instrument is doing exactly what it meant to do", ANI quoted Sivan as saying in Odisha's capital Bhubaneswar.

In a statement issued after the loss of Vikram on September 7 while landing on the moon, ISRO said a national committee of academicians and ISRO experts are analysing the cause of communication loss with Vikram.

The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru, the space agency has said.

Till date 90 to 95 per cent 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.

The lander and the rover have a mission life of 14 earth days. According to reports, ISRO intends to have the first unmanned mission under Gaganyaan by December 2020, and the second unmanned mission by July 2021, before sending astronauts into space. Our priority is on an unmanned mission by next year. By December 2021, the first Indian will be carried out by our own rocket to space.

"In case of technology demonstration, the success percentage was nearly full", he said.

Lander Vikram, with rover Pragyan housed inside it, lost communication with the ground station on September 7.

Senior aerospace engineers formerly associated with the space programme say the data from the radio telescope, along with the trajectory lines displayed by Isro during the descent, suggest the malfunction prevented the lander from slowing down and led to its crash. "Gaganyaan is extremely important for India as it will boost the science and technology capability of the country", he said. "This is the target ISRO is working for", he said amidst loud clapping by the audience.

Sivan asked the B.Tech and M.Tech graduates to keep chasing insane ideas despite failures because most of the major innovations have taken shape from such ideas. "That's why the project can be termed as 98% successful", said Sivan after reaching Bhubaneswar, where he attended the convocation ceremony of Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar. He also called upon the IITians to come forward and contribute towards nation-building.

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