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Lander Vikram was just 335 metres away from moon when it lost contact

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday found the location of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram Lander, which had lost contact with the space agency from the Moon’s surface due to hard landing. However, in a major breakthrough, the data frozen on the big screens at the Mission Operations Complex at ISRO's Telemetry Tracking and Command Centre suggest a failure in the “fine braking phase” in the final part of Vikram’s journey (an altitude of 5 km to 400 m).

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: September 11, 2019 11:08 IST
Vikram Lander was just 335 metres away from moon when it

Vikram Lander was just 335 metres away from moon when it lost contact

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) found the location of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram Lander, which had lost contact with the space agency from the Moon’s surface due to hard landing. However, in a major breakthrough, the data frozen on the big screens at the Mission Operations Complex at ISRO's Telemetry Tracking and Command Centre suggest a failure in the “fine braking phase” in the final part of Vikram’s journey (an altitude of 5 km to 400 m), according to report in Indian Express.

On the basis of data of Chandrayaan 2's Vikram Lander location recorded on early Saturday, the space agency has begun its analysis on 'failure to soft-landing' on the Moon which has suggested Vikram lander was 5 km from the surface of the Moon.

However, ISRO in its statement had said that normal performance (of Vikram) was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km”, and “subsequently, communication from Lander to the ground stations was lost”.

According to Indian Express reports, the frozen screens at mission control have shown that communication with Vikram lander was lost when it was barely "335 metres" (0.335 km) from the surface of the Moon.

The green dot representing the lander started to deviate from the time its altitude was just above 2 km and continued to deviate before stopping at a point that was clearly below 1 km altitude, and somewhere near or below 500 m, according to reports.

India Tv - Vikram Lander was just 335 metres away from moon when it lost contact

Vikram Lander was just 335 metres away from moon when it lost contact

“Data received at mission control showed that the landing was going as intended until the 2 km altitude. The communication link was lost when the lander was a few metres from touchdown,” a former head of an ISRO centre, who was at mission control on September 7 told Indian Express.

“In the final touchdown phase, the velocity should have been only 1 or 2 metres per second, something like a walking pace,” the former senior ISRO scientist said.

The communication with the Lander is yet to be established, ISRO chief K. Sivan, the location of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram Lander was traced. 

"We've found the location of Vikram Lander on lunar surface and orbiter has clicked a thermal image of Lander. But there is no communication yet. We are trying to have contact. It will be communicated soon," News agency ANI quoted ISRO chief K. Sivan as saying. 

Chandrayaan-2 comprised of three parts – the Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan). In the last stage snag, the communication link between the moon lander Vikram and the moon orbiter was snapped as the former was descending towards the moon's South Pole early on Saturday.

The Vikram lander was scheduled to make soft landing on the lunar surface on Saturday at 1:55 am. It lost communication after deviated from its planned trajectory.  

The Vikram Moon Lander is named after the father of India's space mission Vikram Sarabhai on his birth centenary year.

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