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ISRO lost contact with Vikram when it was just 2km from lunar surface

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Bengaluru: The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is healthy and safe in the Lunar orbit, an ISRO official said after the Vikram lander lost contact with ground stations minutes before the touchdown on Moon’s surface early on Saturday.

“The orbiter is healthy, intact, functioning normally and safely in the Lunar orbit,” the official told PTI. The mission life of the 2,379-kg orbiter is one year. The orbiter payloads will conduct remote-sensing observations from a 100 km orbit. Chandrayaan-2, a follow-on mission to the Chandrayaan-1 mission undertaken more than a decade ago, comprises an orbiter, lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan).

The orbiter carries eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and study the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon. ISRO on September two successfully carried out the separation of lander Vikram (with rover Pragyan housed inside) from the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.

In the early hours of Saturday, communication from ‘Vikram’ lander to ground stations was lost during its powered descent to the Lunar surface, and ISRO said data is being analysed. “Vikram lander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, the communication from lander to ground stations was lost,” ISRO Chairman K Sivan said.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission serves as the second phase of ISRO’s Chandrayaan lunar exploration program and is a follow-on to the highly successful Chandrayaan-1 mission, which featured a lunar orbiter and an impactor known as the Moon Impact Probe (MIP).

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Hyderabad based GVK Group reportedly under government scanner

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Mumbai: The GVK Group, which is in locked in a legal battle with the Adani Group on stake sale in its flagship Mumbai International Airport (MIAL), on Tuesday said it has received a notice from the corporate affairs ministry (MCA), seeking some details about the airport operator.

This comes at a time when the Hyderabad-based diversified GVK Power & Infrastructure Limited, which owns 50.5 percent stake in the MIAL, is in the process of hiking its stake in the airport arm by acquiring 23.5 per cent additional stake from Bidvest and ACSA.

The MCA notice, according to sources, is based on a whistleblower complaint to MCA with regard to alleged ‘diversion of funds’ from some of the GVK Group companies.

MCA has initiated an inspection of the books of 11 entities, which include GVK Power & Infrastructure, Mumbai International Airport, GVK Jaipur Expressway Pvt and GVK Power. It has also ordered an inspection of the books of Navi Mumbai International Airport Pvt – the under construction airport at Navi Mumbai.

These companies are located in different jurisdictions — Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Rajasthan and Mumbai — of the Registrar of Companies and MCA has sent a physical inspection letter to each of these companies, sources said.

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