#repost #isro @isroindiaofficial Has #Chandryaan 2’s #Vikram #Lander setback affected #India’s #moon #mission? #Chandrayaan2 took off from Sriharikota on July 22 to safe land the ‘Vikram’, carrying its ‘Pragyan’ rover, in a suitable high plain on the lunar surface, at a latitude of about 70º South. But soon after 1.50 a.m. on September 7, in the final minutes of the lander’s descent on its own, the #Indian #Space #Research #Organisation (ISRO) team in #Bengaluru lost contact with the module. What went wrong with the mission? Chandrayaan 2, comprising an orbiter, a lander and a rover, journeyed from earth for eight days and reached the moon’s vicinity on August 20. On September 2, the lander riding on the orbiter was separated and got into a closer orbit around the moon, moving pole-to-pole at a distance of 35 km x 100 km. Mission planners at ISRO had divided the last critical 15-minute parabolic descent into four smaller phases. At 1.38 a.m. IST on September 7, the lander perfectly cleared the ‘rough braking phase’, swooping down from 30 km to 7.4 km of the lunar surface in 10 minutes. Its velocity had dropped as required from 1,640 metres a second to about 400 metres a second. It had now entered the second part, the ‘fine braking phase’ of 3 minutes, with the four throttleable motors switching off to further lower the velocity. It had to re-orient itself, take pictures of the landing site to look for hazards like slopes and rocks. The moon was just over 2 minutes and 2.1 km away. But by then, at the command headquarters in Bengaluru, the green lines on the screens showed that it had strayed from its path; mission managers said they were not receiving any signal from the lander.