India’s mission for a second visit to the Moon with Chandrayaan 2 has suffered a major setback. During a routine drop test, the engineering model of the moon lander “Vikram” was damaged a few weeks ago. The main components of the spaceship, however, are safe and are being tested further, ISRO chief Dr. K Sivan told the media.
“The flight model of the ‘Vikram’ Lander is safe and Chandrayaan 2 will be launched at an opportune window in the next few months. The main components of Chandrayaan 2 that will fly to the Moon are safe and being tested further,” Dr. K Sivan said.
As part of the standard operating procedure, the space agency conducts testing on the engineering models. The engineers configured a drop test wrongly, hence it damaged the legs of the equipment.
India is spending INR₹ 800 crore on it’s second moon mission, the Chandrayaan 2. The mission seeks to put an orbiter, a lander and a rover on the lunar surface using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MK III. The mission suffered some delays when the rocket was changed from GSLV MK II to MK III, when the Russian collaboration had collapsed.
India launched the Chandrayaan 1 in 2008 and the mission revealed the presence of water molecules on the moon.
Only USA, Russia and China have successfully soft landed on the Moon. On the 11th of April, Israel hopes to make a soft landing on the moon through the first private spacecraft. India hard landed on the lunar surface as part of Chandrayaan 1.
Source : Various