India's first attempt to soft-land on the Moon may have gone, but the ambitious Chandrayaan 2 mission is still a success. The Chandrayaan 2 orbiter remains in operation and will continue to study the Moon from afar.
"Only 5 percent of the mission has been lost - Vikram the lander and Pragyan the rover - while the remaining 95 percent - that is the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter - is orbiting the moon successfully," an official of the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO told news agency IANS.
The orbiter can take several pictures of the moon and send it to the ISRO over the next year. The orbiter can take pictures of the lander to find out its status too.
Vikram - the lander separated from its orbiting mothership and performed a series of manoeuvres to lower its altitude for a perfect touchdown between 1:30 am and 2:30 am. Rocket thrusters were used to slow it down to attempt the extremely tricky operation that ISRO called “15 minutes of terror”.
Inside the lander a rover had a lifespan of only 14 days. It was to explore craters for clues on the origin and evolution of the Moon, and also for evidence on how much water the polar region contains. A successful landing would have made India the fourth country after the US, Russia and China to accomplish a soft landing on the Moon.
Source : Various