Muscat: A mood of gloom descended over the Indian Space Research Organisation on Saturday morning as a planned landing of 'Vikram', the lander craft part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, did not go according to plan.
The lander, which began its planned descent to the southern pole of the moon on time, lost communications with the ground control centre just 2.1 kilometres from the lunar surface. In a statement, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said, "This is Mission Control Centre. #VikramLander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, communication from Lander to the ground stations was lost. Data is being analyzed."
However, the orbiter continues to orbit the moon and send data back to ISRO. On Saturday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing ISRO scientists, said, "When poets, writers speak of this day, they will certainly say, we have described the moon so romantically in our texts, that even Chandrayaan was influenced and ran towards the moon."
According to ISRO telemetry data which was being broadcast during the mission, the lander Vikram, named after the father of India's space program Vikram Sarabhai, deviated from its planned path in the final stage of 'fine breaking' before it landed on the Moon.