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We Finally Know What Happened To Chandrayaan 2's Vikram Lander On The Moon & Here's Why It Crashed

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On September 7, while attempting to land Chandrayaan 2's Vikram lander on the moon, ISRO had lost all communication with the lander when it was just a few hundred meters above the moon. Yes, the mission is still considered successful because of the Orbiter that's still orbiting the moon, but nobody knew what happened to the lander.

However yesterday, the government decided to throw some light on the matter during the Lok Sabha session. Jitendra Singh, the minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), who looks after the department of space, confirmed that the Vikram lander indeed hard-landed on the surface of the moon as opposed to the planned soft-landing.

We Finally Know What Happened To Chandrayaan 2's Vikram Lander On The Moon© Reuters

He further noted that the lander hard-landed within 500 meters of the designated landing site. He said that the first phase of descent was performed nominally from an altitude of 30 km to 7.4 km above the lunar surface. During the first phase, the velocity was also reduced from 1,683 meters per second to 146 meters per second.

The second phase of the descent is when things went wrong. "During the second phase of descent, the reduction in 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. As a result, Vikram hard-landed within 500 meters of the designated landing site," he said.

We Finally Know What Happened To Chandrayaan 2's Vikram Lander On The Moon© ISRO

Jitendra went on to add that most components of technology demonstrations like the launch,  orbital critical maneuvers, lander separation, etc. were successfully accomplished. He even noted that all the eight state-of-the-art scientific instruments of the orbiter are performing very well, and we're still obtaining some critical and useful data.

So, it's safe to say that Vikram lander was on the right track. If it wasn't for the deviation caused due to the velocity, Vikram would have made a soft-landing as per the plan on the landing site. 

Anyway, let's keep our fingers crossed for the next Chandrayaan mission.

Source: NDTV


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