A muted first anniversary for Chandrayaan 2

Arup Dasgupta writes in The Wire Science about the muted Chandrayaan 2 anniversary. This is quite contrary to the claim of the 95% mission success that ISRO spoke of at the time of the loss of lander and rover.

I broadly agree with the point Dasgupta makes in the article but have a few reservations to share.

I think there have been many more publications of results than what Dasgupta claims but they are not centralized at any one place. This has been a pain point with ISRO. I have to depend on r/ISRO for helping me find where ISRO has published this information.

I summarized the findings from Chandrayaan 2 in Issue #3 of Pradeep’s Space Newsletter under the heading Chandrayaan 2 science papers where other than the Current Science articles Dasgupta mentions, there are papers submitted to the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC). There may be more or perhaps COVID-19 intervened.

ISRO has announced that Chandrayaan 2 data will be released in public in October 2020. Hence the claim about there being no release of data may be premature. An announcement of opportunity may follow.

Speculation about the lander-rover, is that more news will be available with images from Chandrayaan 2 when they publish a paper about it. But the silence and reaction from ISRO about the failure of the lander-rover part of the mission has been childish.

Shanmuga Subramanian mentioned in the article above has also been continuing the search for Chandrayaan 2 lander-rover from data obtained from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter (LRO) from subsequent passes over the crash site. He has also been continuing to search for impact debris of the Moon Impact Probe launched with Chandrayaan 1 in 2008. Talking of Chandrayaan 1, I will be posting here about their finding of rust on the lunar surface.

To end, I like to share VM’s post about why it’s a pain to try and follow what ISRO does. But, part of the love for our space agency is learning about ISRO using any means necessary.