The orbiter of Isro’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 which was originally designed to work for one year is now believed to last for seven years.
In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha on India’s second lunar mission, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said “Against an initially envisaged one-year life of (Chandrayaan-2) orbiter, we expect it to be serving for seven years.” Jitendra Singh said that Chandrayaan-2 was a highly complex mission to develop and demonstrate the key technologies for end-to-end lunar mission capability, including soft-landing and roving on the lunar surface.
Meant to reach the South Pole of the Moon, Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22, 2019, amid much fanfare over Isro’s capabilities.
Chandrayaan-2 was launched to further expand the knowledge about the moon through a detailed study of its topography, mineralogy, surface chemical composition, thermophysical characteristics and atmosphere, leading to a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the moon.
The mission comprised an orbiter, a lander and a rover.
Disaster struck when the lander Vikram crashed on the surface of the moon on September 7, 2019, sinking India’s dream to become the first nation to successfully land on the lunar surface in its maiden attempt.
Despite the setback, the orbiter of the mission did not sustain any damage and has been sending vital data.
In August last year, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter captured the images of craters on the Moon.
They were christened “Sarabhai crater” after Vikram Sarabhai, father of the Indian space programme.