India

Chandrayaan-2: Vikram hard-landed within 500 metres of landing site, says govt.

Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander hard-landed as reduction in velocity during its descent did not match with the designed parameters, the government said on November 21 throwing more light on ISRO’s dashed hopes of making a soft landing on the lunar surface in its maiden attempt.

In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office who looks after the Department of Space, said the first phase of descent was performed nominally from an altitude of 30 km to 7.4 km above the moon’s surface and velocity was reduced from 1,683 metres per second to 146 metres per second.

“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 metres of the designated landing site,” he said.

Mr. Singh, however, said most components of technology demonstration, including the launch, orbital critical manoeuvres lander separation, de-boost and rough braking phase were successfully accomplished.

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