In the latest update, it was confirmed that Chandrayaan 2’s Vikram Lander was just metres close to the lunar surface. It was earlier reported that connection with Vikram was lost 2.1km above the moon’s surface, and it now seems that the lander was lost 335 metres above the lunar surface.
Although Vikram lander didn’t do a soft landing, ISRO’s efforts left the world speechless. ISRO Chairman K Sivan had earlier said, “Vikram lander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, the communication from the lander to the ground centre was lost”.
This was decoded by everyone that the communication link was lost at an altitude of 2.1 km. Then, ISRO issued a statement, ‘Vikram lander has been located by the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2, but no communication with it yet. All possible efforts are being made to establish communication with lander’.
Tapan Mishra who is ISRO senior adviser wrote a detailed post on his Facebook page.
Mishra said that the ‘Five big thrusters (four at corners and one in the centre), if fired equally, will combine in a vertical direction, providing opposing force and the resultant vertical axis of the vector will pass through the centre of gravity, providing stability.’
He also added that the depletion of fuel in lander’s fuel tank can also be a main reason for Vikram lander’s rough landing on the moon’s surface.
As per the New Indian Express, it was at 400 meters that the second phase of braking initiated and the connection was lost when the lander reached just 335 metres above the lunar surface.