India is trying to connect to the Vikram lander
The Indian Space Agency (ISRO) has announced that it has located the current location of the Vikram lander. This was done with the help of a satellite, which during the Chandrayaan-2 mission was placed in lunar orbit just before a failed landing on the Silver Globe. For another two weeks, scientists will try to make contact with the spaceship and the Pragyan rover inside.
On Saturday, ISRO lost contact with the Vikram spacecraft just before landing near the South Pole. But loss of communication was not the reason for the mission's failure, but probably the result of a fault that occurred during the transition to the last landing phase. It is worth adding that the on-board computer was responsible for the control. Due to signal delays, control center scientists would not be able to control Vikram in real time. However, the Indian Space Agency does not lose hope. For two weeks, scientists will try to connect to the lander, which is in one piece. It is not known, however, how serious the damage caused by the "hard landing" is.
– ISRO (@isro) September 10, 2019
Before landing, at an altitude of about 30 km above the lunar surface, he traveled at a speed of 6,000 km per hour, which he had to reduce to almost zero. At the same time, precision was important, because the lander was to be in a specific place near the South Pole. It was supposed to be so-called soft landing sequence, which was divided into three phases. The first two went well, which was confirmed in the control center by the applause of ISRO employees. Four of the five installed engines reduced the speed to 22 km per hour.
India has lost touch with the Vikram spacecraft
Vikram: the hard landing of an Indian spacecraft
The problems began between the last two phases when the lander's legs were to be pointed down. At an altitude of 2.1 km above the lunar surface, however, anomalies began to appear. As a result, the connection with the ship carrying out previously programmed instructions was lost. This phase lasted 15 minutes and was crucial. It is possible that one of the engines has failed. Currently, the data that the Indian Space Agency has collected from its lunar satellite shows that Vikram is on his feet, but is tilted. ISRO will try to establish contact with the ship and the Pragyan rover inside it for two weeks.
Space is hard. We commend @ISRO’S attempt to land their # Chandrayaan2 mission on the Moon’s South Pole. You have inspired us with your journey and look forward to future opportunities to explore our solar system together. https://t.co/pKzzo9FDLL
– NASA (@NASA) September 7, 2019
Despite many press releases presenting this event as a failure, this is not entirely true. Space missions are a very difficult challenge, and getting to the pre-landing phase is a real feat. NASA in a statement congratulated the Indian Space Agency on attempting to land on the Silver Globe, stressing that this is a difficult challenge. Despite the failure in the last phase, the mission was 95 percent successful, and the experience gained during it will contribute to further exploration of space. | CHIP
Chandrayaan-2 has started. This is the second Indian mission to the moon