It looks like India’s Chandrayaan-3 succumbed to the cold, and its mission is over. The frigid lunar night lasted about two weeks, and a new day has dawned. With that day came hopes of a sunlit revival for the lander and the rover, but the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) says the chances of the spacecraft awakening in the Sun are diminishing by the hour.Continue reading “Day Has Returned, but India’s Lander and Rover have Failed to Wake Up”
On July 14th, 2023, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched the third mission in its Chandrayaan (“Moon vehicle” in Hindi) lunar exploration program. Earlier this week (Wednesday, August 23rd), the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s Vikram lander touched down on the far side of the Moon, making India the fourth nation in the world to send missions to the lunar surface and the first to land one near the Moon’s south pole region. Shortly after that, the ISRO announced that they had deployed Pragyan, the rover element of the mission, to the surface.Continue reading “India's Rover Rolls Out Onto the Lunar Surface”
On July 14, 2023, at 2:35 pm Indian Standard Time (5:05 am EST), the Indian Space Resource Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched their Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, which is the primary spaceport of the ISRO. The goal of the mission is to put India’s first lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan) on the lunar surface and is scheduled to touch down on the Moon on August 23, 2023. This mission comes after the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 Vikram lander crashed on the Moon on September 6, 2019, due to a last-minute guidance software glitch. While the ISRO indicated everything was going according to plan, they unexpectedly lost contact with the Vikram lander approximately 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles) above the lunar surface.Continue reading “India Launches Chandrayaan-3 to the Moon, Hoping for a Successful Landing”
This image of the lunar highlands is from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. You’d need superhuman eyesight to spot it, but India’s crashed Vikram lander is in there somewhere. The lander attempted to land on the Moon on September 6th, but when it was only 2.1 km above the surface, within reach of its objective, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) lost contact with the spacecraft.Continue reading “India’s Crashed Lander is In This Picture, Somewhere”
On Sunday (Sept. 8th), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced that they had located Vikram, the lander element of their Chandrayaan-2 mission. The search began almost immediately after the space agency lost contact with the robotic spacecraft, which occurred moments before it set down on the lunar surface (on Friday, Sept. 6th).Continue reading “India has Located the Vikram Lander, But it’s Still not Communicating With Home”
Reflecting its growth as a global power, India has achieved some impressive progress in space lately. In the past decade, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has sent robotic spacecraft into orbit, to the Moon, and also to Mars. And today, they made their first attempt at a soft lunar landing by sending the Vikram lander towards the surface of the Moon.
This move would have made India the fourth nation in the world to land a spacecraft on the lunar surface. The landing sequence went as planned until the lander reached an altitude of 2.1 km (1.3 mi) above the surface. Unfortunately, communications with the lander was lost at that point and it is unclear whether the lander crashed. At the moment, the ISRO is analyzing data collected by the orbiter to determine what happened.Continue reading “Chandrayaan 2 Mission Loses Contact With Vikram Lander During Descent”