Indian Space Research Organization lost contact with its famous Vikram lander when it was only 1.3 miles away from the lunar surface. For those of you who have been following the progress of Chandrayaan-2; the Vikram lander was supposed to make a landing on the moon.
The long-awaited touchdown procedures commenced at 4 pm ET, and the landing window was supposed to last for an hour. Before we talk about what happened, let’s talk about what the plan was, shall we? Vikram lander was supposed to attempt a landing at an unnamed plateau that is located between the Manzinus C, and Simpelius N craters close to the Moon’s the South Pole.
This was unique since all of the previous spacecraft have actually made touchdowns closer to the equator ISRO decided to use this spot for landing after the discovery of frozen water in the region by Chandrayaan-1. Other space agencies are actually observing the region quite keenly. NASA has a plan of sending a crewed mission to the South Pole of the Moon by 2024. So far, the journey has proven to be a difficult one for the ISRO.
Back in 2008, the agency crash-landed its impact probe that was launched from Chandrayaan-1 to the surface of the moon. The recent mission has also had its fair share of setbacks. The rocket and the orbiter were finally launched on July 22, 2019. ISRO was streaming live from Bengaluru. However, at 5:01 pm EST, India’s Press Information Bureau tweeted the following statement;
ISRO ended up losing contact with the Vikram lander while it was on its final descent toward the moon. This happened when the lander was only 1.3 miles off the lunar surface. Regardless of the outcome of this mission; ISRO sure has come a long way, and this is actually quite an amazing feat!
We wish ISRO the best of luck for its future endeavors.