New Delhi: “With Chandrayaan-2 Mission, India became the first country to have attempted to probe lunar South Pole, which is believed to contain water and upholds key secrets of the solar system”.
An ebook on Chandrayaan-2, titled “The journey of a billion dreams – A story for eternity” and produced by the Publications Division, Government of India, begins with this remark underscoring the “attempt” to probe the lunar South Pole.
It claims that the Lander Vikram did “hard landing on the lunar surface on September 7 and was located the next day” without any photographs or any other alternate evidence to prove the point.
The ebook goes on to repeat that Chandrayaan-2 was 98 per cent successful. A claim also made before the media by the ISRO chief.
The ebook goes on to add “the Mission demonstrated India’s prowess in complex technologies but it has also set a benchmark for space scientists across the world”.
About the orbiter, the ebook says that it continues to share valuable information as it orbits around the moon and will do so for the next seven years.
Then it talks of Union Budget 2019-20 and a boost of 15.6% in space outlay totaling Rs. 12,473 crore againts Rs. 10,783 in the 2018-19 fiscal.
The ebook further states that Lander Vikram was designed to execute India’s first soft landing on the lunar surface.
In the end there is a photo showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi consoling ISRO Chairman K Sivan when he broke down after the control Centre at the ISRO headquarter lost contact with Lander Vikram on 7 September 2019. The photo caption carries the following quote from the PM:
The country is with you, I am with you. The effort was worth it and so was the journey.
This ebook is a shoddy attempt, apparently meant to serve the purpose of a smokescreen to hide the truth in terms of the main objective and purpose of Chandrayaan-2 and the final outcome.
Those at the helm of affairs in ISRO had lost no time in spreading misinformation regarding the fate of Lander Vikram. They have used the media extensivley to convey the message that the Chandrayaan-2 Mission has been 98 per cent successful. This claim also has been repeated in the ebook. They first told the Prime Minister that only the signals have been disrupted and as a result the Control facility has lost contact with Lander Vikram and efforts are on to re-establish contact. Then news was spread that Vikram had made a “hard landing” without pictures or even an iota of evidence to prove it and this at a time when those in knowledgeable circles were questioning whether or not the Lander had crashed on the Moon due to some last moment glitch that could have occured when the 4 outer thrusters were shut down and the central thruster had been started for the purpose of soft-landing on 7 September 2019.
The nation had watched on television screens on that fateful night the big screen displaying the Lander’s descent at the ISRO Control Centre in Bengaluru. Everyone saw how there was total gloom at ISRO’s control facility when Lander’s downward trajectory had changed abruptly and within a fraction of a second all contact with it had been lost.
It was eleven years after placing the orbiter in the Lunar orbit, that ISRO had launched Chandrayaan-2 to meet the goal of soft-landing Lander Vikram and using the robotic rover to conduct tests on the Moon’s South Pole.
The ebook tells the public about the complex technology and multi-stage vehicles used in this Mission but when it comes to the principal goal of this mission it doesnt give the real picture in terms of percentage of success or failure. It only says that India has become the first country to attempt this. It neither throws light on what went in terms of preparations, and who were the main scientists who had given their all for this Mission.
During the last eleven years, since the successful launch of Chandrayaan-1 in 2008, which placed the orbiter in the lunar orbit, there is bound to be technological and scientific advancement. It’s a big leap that the orbiter this time will have a life of seven years and the ISRO scientists, who built it as well as those engaged in every Centre and department linked with Chandrayaan-2 deserve a standing ovation despite the last moment glitch. The Prime Minister’s words of encouragement should help ISRO conquor in future new frontiers in space.
We the people need to be told by ISRO the status of an inquiry into the exact fate of Lander Vikram and also the Rover. We the people need to be told in terms of percentage how much of the main objective of the Chandrayaan-2 Mission has been achieved. We the people also need to be told in detail, if its not against national security, all about the information that is being received on Earth now from the lunar orbiter. Why not share it with us.
Click here for ebook of Chandrayaan-2