Chennai, Sep 9: Special pujas were performed at the famous Thingalur Chandran (Moon) temple, one of the nine Navagraha temples, in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu on Monday praying for establishing contact with Chandrayaan-2's Lander Vikram, which tantalisingly came close to landing on the moon's south pole, a hitherto unexplored territory by any country.
Monday is considered as very auspicious for the Moon God--special pujas and abhishekham were performed. According to Sri Kailasanathar Temple (also called as Chandranaar Temple devoted to Moon) Manager V Kannan a special abhishekham was performed this morning to seek the divine blessings of the Moon God 'Chandran' for establishing contacts with the lander. The lander was expected make a soft landing at Moon's south pole between on Saturday morning, but it agonisingly fell short from a meagre distance of 2.1 km.
Announcing that communication with Lander was lost, ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said Vikram Lander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed upto an altitude of 2.1 km. 'Subsequently communication from lander to the ground stations was lost. Data is being analyzed', he said. The Vikram Lander followed the planned descent trajectory from its orbit of 35 km to just below 2 km above the surface. All the systems and sensors of the Lander functioned excellently until this point and proved many new technologies such as variable thrust propulsion technology used in the Lander.
The success criteria was defined for each and every phase of the mission and 90 to 95 per cent of the mission objectives have been accomplished and will continue contribute to Lunar science, notwithstanding the loss of communication with the Lander. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) yesterday announced
that the Orbiter has located the lander Vikram about 500 m from the landing spot on the lunar surface, which Dr Sivan must have been a hard landing.
"The lander seems to have hit the lunar surface and is in an upturned position," ISRO said and added that efforts were on to establish contact with the Lander. Even on the day of the launch of Chandrayaan-2 on July 22, which coincidentally happened to be Monday--an auspicious day for Moon God Chandran--a special puja was performed where in a large number of devotees offered raw rice pudding mixed with jaggery.
They also prayed for the success of the second lunar mission, when Chandrayaan-2 began begin its 48-day long, 3.44 lakh km journey after lift off, for a soft landing on the Moon's South Pole, hitherto an unexplored territory by any country. (UNI)