India Loses Contact With Chandrayaan-2 Moon Lander During Its Descent | World Defense

India Loses Contact With Chandrayaan-2 Moon Lander During Its Descent

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India's space hopes dashed for now with loss of lunar lander
With 1.3 billion people watching, 'Vikram' fails to make soft landing on moon's South Pole but Modi praises programme.
by Laura Winter
4 hours ago


The moment India had waited years for - when the "15 minutes of terror" transformed into fist-pumping exhilaration - arrived as a time of silence and bitter disappointment.

India's hopes for its Vikram lunar lander to make a soft landing on the moon were all but dashed when ground control lost the craft's signal.
"This is mission control centre. The Vikram lander descent was as planned," said a visibly shaken Kailasavadivoo Sivan, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) into a control room's microphone.
"And the normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 kilometres. Subsequently [the] communications from the lander to ground station was lost. The data is being analysed."
What little is known is that the landing craft had successfully performed the rough braking phase, a controlled but strong fuel burn to reduce its descent velocity. But the trouble began shortly after the fine braking phase was initiated.
That latter phase should have reduced the speed a little bit more to create the conditions for the craft to make a soft landing. While applause from engineers, scientists and invited guests matched each prior phase of the descent, the mission control room suddenly went quiet.
Those seated at workstations inside the Mission Operations Complex in Bengaluru could be seen to be holding their heads in disbelief. Their distress came watching a bright green line - representing the lander's trajectory on a large screen - suddenly veer off-course.
Soon after, it was clear that communication with the Vikram lander was terminated. While it is not yet evident whether the lander was able to make the necessary course corrections and land in one piece, the outlook is grim.
'No small feat'
Following Sivan's announcement that communications with the lander had been lost, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi entered the control room to join the engineers and scientists.
"What you have achieved is no small feat," Modi said. "I am with you. Proceed with courage... Hope for the best."
India had hoped the Chandrayaan-2 mission and its Vikram lander would put the nation into an exclusive spacefaring club with those few who have successfully completed a soft lunar landing.
The only nations to have attained that achievement are the former Soviet Union, the United States and China.
After the hoped-for landing, Modi had been scheduled to give a national address praising India's space programme. Instead he punched out a tweet.
"India is proud of our scientists! They've given their best and have always made India proud. These are moments to be courageous, and courageous we will be!"
"Chairman @isro gave updates on Chandrayaan-2. We remain hopeful and will continue working hard on our space programme," Modi tweeted.
But Modi was still scheduled to speak to the nation on Saturday morning from the control room.
Lunar progress
This achievement on the moon would have been even more astonishing because after a series of very expensive setbacks - including an aborted initial launch - ISRO had delivered the Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission at a budget price point of just $141m.
To put that into perspective, SpaceX's launch service charges $150m to take a ride up to low earth orbit on its three-rocket Falcon Heavy. The Chandrayaan-2 pricetag includes the cost of the rocket, orbiter, lander, rover and all of the scientific payloads.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientists work on various modules of lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 at ISRO Satellite Integration and Test Establishment (ISITE) in Bengaluru

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists work on various modules of lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 at ISRO Satellite Integration and Test Establishment in Bengaluru, India, earlier this year [Chris Thomas/Reuters]
A major factor that kept costs low was the slow velocity of the journey. Once it was launched on July 22, Chandrayaan-2 took a month and a half - with 15 short but critical course manoeuvres, or fuel burns, to achieve lunar orbital insertion and travel 384,400km from its launch pad.
The American Apollo 11 mission reached lunar orbit just 75 hours, 50 minutes after blast-off. The Americans took a direct route, while ISRO slowly raised the Chandrayaan-2's Earth orbit until only a short fuel burn was needed to reach a lunar transfer trajectory, the necessary step to reach a lunar orbit.
The now-famous "15 minutes of terror" began at 20:08 GMT, when ISRO instructed the lander's onboard computer to take over control of the craft and initiate the landing sequence. Sivan had earlier warned that once the descent had begun, mission control would have to sit, watch and hope.
Once the lander had landed, ISRO planned for the onboard Pragyan rover to be released to study the elements that make up the lunar surface, explicitly but not exclusively examining the building blocks for water.

If the lander is proved to be forever lost, the Chandrayaan-2 mission continues with the orbiter craft, which was outfitted with a variety of technologies to collect data on the moon's surface composition and atmosphere, as well as map the terrain, to include where ice made of water is located. The orbiter should remain in service for roughly a year
 

I.R.A

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Any guess, how long before they try again?
 

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no idea sir
State of Pakistan needs to have that idea, instead playing twitter twitter and ridiculing them online, Pakistani state needs to carefully watch this and act.
 

I.R.A

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So Indians can issue open statements of supporting insurgencies in Pakistan, their forces can become politicized and lie thru their teeth, but a Pakistani rep cannot taunt them for their failed attempt?

Pakistanis have become too soft. DG ISPR knows who he is dealing with, these Pakistanis criticizing him for his tweet on india's moon landing failure, should wear a tie pant suit and plan on meeting with Bipin and that BS Dhona ..... I am sure they will be impressed by the indian professionalism.

These ulu kay pathay don't even realise that Pakistani soldiers don't need their certificates of professionalism when a Veer Chakara holding indian POW has already admitted .... Pakistani military are gentlemen and I hope my military would behave the same.
 

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India Loses Contact With Chandrayaan-2 Moon Lander During Its Descent
The country will probably have to wait for a future mission to join the elite club of nations that have landed on the moon.
By Jeffrey Gettleman, Kenneth Chang, Kai Schultz and Hari Kumar
Published Sept. 6, 2019
Updated Sept. 7, 2019, 10:59 a.m. ET

BANGALORE, India — India’s attempt to land a robotic spacecraft near the moon’s South Pole on Saturday appeared to end in failure.

The initial parts of the descent went smoothly. But less than two miles above the surface, the trajectory diverged from the planned path. The mission control room fell silent as communications from the lander were lost. A member of the staff was seen patting the back of K. Sivan, the director of India’s space program.

He later announced that the spacecraft was operating as expected until an altitude of 2.1 kilometers, or 1.3 miles. “The data is being analyzed,” he said.
The partial failure of the Chandrayaan-2 mission — an orbiter remains in operation — would delay the country’s bid to join an elite club of nations that have landed in one piece on the moon’s surface.

If the spacecraft crashed — although a communications glitch was also possible — it occurred during a period that Dr. Sivan had called “15 minutes of terror.” A series of steps had to be completed by computers on board the spacecraft in the correct sequence, with no opportunity for do-overs.

This was the third attempted spacecraft landing on the moon this year. In January, China landed the first probe ever on the far side of the moon. The lander and accompanying rover have been operating since then.

An Israeli nonprofit sent a small robotic spacecraft named Beresheet to the moon, but its landing attempt in April went awry in a manner similar to Chandrayaan-2. The initial descent went as planned, but then communications were lost near the surface. It was later discovered that a command to shut off the engine was incorrectly sent.
Chandrayaan-2 launched in July, taking a long, fuel-efficient path to the moon. Earlier this week, the 3,200-pound lander, named Vikram after Vikram A. Sarabhai, the father of the Indian space program, separated from the orbiter and maneuvered toward the moon’s surface.

Fifteen minutes before the planned landing, the Vikram lander was traveling at more than 2,000 miles per hour at an altitude of about 20 miles. Four of its engines fired to quickly slow it down as it headed toward its landing site on a high, flat plain near the South Pole. Later in the landing process, it appeared that Vikram was descending too fast and then data from the spacecraft ended.

The moon is littered with the remains of spacecraft that have tried and failed to land in one piece. Two American craft, from the robotic Surveyor series that helped blaze the trail for Apollo, crashed in the 1960s. Several probes from the Soviet Luna program also collided with the moon’s surface.

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Silence fell on the control room of the Indian Space Research Organization in Bangalore as communications from the Vikram lander of the Chandrayaan-2 moon mission were lost.CreditJagadeesh Nv/EPA, via Shutterstock

The makers of Beresheet and Chandrayaan-2 both noted the low cost of their missions — $100 million to $150 million, which is much cheaper than those typically launched by NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA is currently trying to tap into entrepreneurial innovation for upcoming robotic moon missions; the first of these low-cost trips is scheduled to launch in 2021.

The outcomes of the Indian and Israeli missions highlight that lower costs can mean higher risk of failure, which NASA will need to adjust to as it pursues a lower-cost approach.

While India may not have stuck the landing on its first try, its attempt highlighted how its engineering prowess and decades of space development have combined with its global ambitions.

It remains to be seen what the crash will mean in India’s domestic politics. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country’s nationalist leader, has embraced the country’s space program to raise India’s brand on the global stage and make Indians feel fired up about their nation’s growing strength.

“This is all about national pride,’’ said Pallava Bagla, co-author of a book about Indian space exploration and a dedicated space journalist.

Applause swept through viewing parties in Bangalore for most of the lander’s descent. At the command center, scientists rose to their feet as they tracked the mission’s progress. When communication was abruptly lost, Sathya Narayanan, 21, an educator with Astroport, a group in Bangalore that spreads awareness about astronomy, said his heart dropped.

“At this point, it is a partial failure,” he said. “We will push until the end.”

While the mission may briefly soften the muscular nationalism espoused by Mr. Modi, whose government is already facing challenges from job losses and international criticism of his recent moves in the disputed territory of Kashmir, the prime minister tried to reframe Saturday’s landing attempt as an opportunity for improvement in brief remarks after contact was lost.

Hours later and back at the space center in Bangalore, the prime minister greeted the scientists, engineers and staff of the space agency after delivering a motivational speech that was broadcast nationally in India. He stopped short of stating explicitly that the lander had failed.

“We came very close, but we will need to cover more ground in the times to come,” he said.

Later in his address, Mr. Modi added, “As important as the final result is the journey and the effort. I can proudly say that the effort was worth it and so was the journey.”
Space has become a popular topic in India.

In some Indian cities, posters for Chandrayaan-2 have been plastered on giant billboards. Schoolchildren in space classes are launching rockets made from empty plastic soda bottles. In July, when India sent up the rocket carrying the lander, millions watched the live broadcasts of the rocket cutting into the sky on top of a funnel of fire.
The moon mission has been years in the making for ISRO, India’s version of NASA, founded in 1969, when components of rockets were transported by bicycles and assembled by hand.

Hundreds of millions of Indians still live deep in poverty; India’s philosophy is that space development can be used for human development. Its satellites help predict storms and save countless lives by sending out early warnings. And it hopes future business opportunities in space will create more work that lifts up more Indians.
While the landing may have failed, India could try for the moon again. And it also plans to build future robotic explorers headed for Venus, Mars and the sun. In the next decade, it intends to send Indian astronauts into Earth orbit aboard its own spacecraft for the first time.
_____
Jeffrey Gettleman reported from New Delhi, Hari Kumar and Kai Schultz from Bangalore and Kenneth Chang from New York.

 

Khafee

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In my personal opinion this is when it was actually lost.

 

Mangus Ortus Novem

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ShooperPauer will need to make another attempt afterall!

Was the communcation hacked?

Might be Agent Kabootar has struck once again!
 

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