Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Lander Crash Landed 500m Away From Target: Indian Govt

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ISRO Chandrayaan-2 was one of the most ambitious missions undertaken by the space agency. However, it's been months since the mission launched and there has been a lot of speculation about the Vikram lander. The Indian government released a statement that the Vikram lander had a hard landing within 500m of the landing site.

Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Lander Crash Landed

 

Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Hard Landing

The Chandrayaan-2 Vikram lander had a hard landing as there was a drop in velocity during its descent, which didn't match with the designed parameters, the government said. Jitendra Singh, the minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office, who is also in charge of the department of space answered the queries raised in the Lok Sabha.

Going into the details, the Chandrayaan-2 Vikram's first phase of descent took place nominally from an altitude of 30km to 7.4km above the moon's surface. The speed of the lander was dropped from 1,683 meters per second to 146 meters per second. However, things began changing during the second phase of the descent.

The statement says "the reduction in the velocity was more than the designed value. Due to this deviation, the initial conditions at the start of the fine braking phase were beyond the designed parameters." This led to a hard landing within 500 meters of the proposed landing site on the Moon's South Pole.

Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Lander: A Good Run

Minister Singh said that the Vikram lander's components of technology demonstration were accomplished, like the orbital critical maneuvers, launch, lander separation, de-boost, and rough braking phase. The Chandrayaan-2's scientific instruments are performing according to the design and are providing valuable information. And since there was a precise launch, the mission life has been extended to seven more years.

The statement also noted that the indigenous GSLV MK III-M1 spacecraft has completed trans-lunar injection and earth-bound maneuvers, which is another milestone for the premier space agency. At the same time, ISRO is gearing up for its next Moon mission - the Chandrayaan-3. ISRO notes that the Chandryaan-3 mission will likely take flight in November 2020, a year from now.

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