Orbiter has fuel for 7 yrs, may spot Vikram in 3 days
Orbiter may get extended life, could send more data
Bengaluru (Isro centre): Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K Sivan on Saturday announced that “90-95% of the Chandrayaan-2 mission objectives have already been achieved”, so “we should not call the mission a failure”.
“The orbiter will have a lifespan of over seven-andhalf years, not just one year as was said earlier, as there is a lot of fuel left. And there is a possibility of finding the Vikram lander with instruments on board the orbiter,” Sivan told TOI.
He added, “The dualband synthetic aperture radar (SAR) on board the orbiter will be able to penetrate and see up to 10 metres of the sub-surface of the polar region and help us find water ice. And its advanced IR spectrometer can work up to 5 micron instead of 3 micron that the earlier ones had. These payloads will give a
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lot of data.”
Clarifying that the landing operation was just a “demonstration, which we could not achieve”, Sivan said this “mission won’t delay any other mission and there are many in hand”.
A senior scientist told TOI that there is a possibility of finding the lander with the orbiter within three days. “This is because an orbiter takes three days to come to the same point. We know the landing site, but as Vikram deviated from the path at the last minute during the final descent, we have to look in an area of 10km by 10km with SAR, IR spectrometer and camera.”
The scientist also clarified if Vikram has crashlanded and turned into pieces, the chances of finding it will be bleak. “However, if the component is intact, high-resolution imaging will capture it,” he added.