Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost contact with Vikram the lander during the final touchdown moment, almost dashing India's hope of becoming the 4th country to successfully soft-land a spacecraft on the moon.
In the last stage snag, the communication link between India's moon lander Vikram and the moon orbiter snapped as the former was descending towards the moon's the South Pole early on Saturday, throwing suspense over Chandrayaan-2 mission.
However, the mission so far has been a success as India managed to put Chandrayaan 2 successfully in moon's orbit where it will be doing experiments for a year.
There were long tense moments at the ISTRAC (Isro's mission control centre in Bengaluru) as scientists waited for communication from the Vikram.
Announcing the snapping of the communication link, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said, "The powered descent of the lander Vikram was normal till reaching the altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, the communication from the Lander was lost. The data is being analysed."
On the screen, it was seen that Vikram slightly changed from its planned path and then the communication link got snapped.
According to ISRO officials, the data is being analysed.
While the ISRO officials were crestfallen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told them: "Be courageous."
Officials at the space agency's telemetry, tracking and command network (Istrac) are checking out the problem.
All was going well with the 1,471 kg Vikram that began its descent at about 1.38 a.m. from an altitude of 30 km at a velocity of 1,680 metres per second.
The lander was smoothly coming down with ISRO officials applauding at regular intervals and their faces beaming with pride.
The lander successfully completed its rough braking phase with its descent speed going down well.
While the rough braking phase of the lander was done well, the communication link between Vikram and the Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter got snapped when the former was at an altitude of 2.1 km above the moon surface.
Meanwhile, the 2,379 kg Chandrayaan-2 orbiter continues to fly around the moon. Its mission life is one year.
On July 22, Chandrayaan-2 was launched into space by India's heavy-lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III) in a textbook style.
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft comprised three segments - the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), 'Vikram' (1,471 kg, four payloads) and rover 'Pragyan' (27 kg, two payloads).
After five earthbound orbit raising activities, Chandrayaan-2 was inserted into lunar orbit. The lander Vikram carrying the rover Pragyan separated from Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft on September 2.