After losing the communication with the Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander on 7 September, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to exchange notes with Israel’s SpaceIL, which lost its robotic lunar lander on 11 April this year, reports The New Indian Express.
According to the report, after ISRO’s failure analysis committee finishes its inquiry into how and why the Vikram lander lost the communication link with the master control room, ISRO and SpaceIL are planning to exchange notes to find out the common factors in the powered descent of both the landers that caused them to lose communication links in the final phase of the landing process, at least two scientists familiar with the ISRO’s plans said.
The SpaceIL had launched the Beresheet mission, having a robotic lander to land on the lunar surface, on 22 February this year on board the Falcon 9 rocket of the US private space agency, SpaceX.
The Beresheet completed the Earth-bound orbits in little over a month and entered the lunar orbit. However, when the lander started the powered descent to the moon surface, its sensors were blinded by the Sun’s glare, causing it to lose its orientation as the gyroscopic engine - that autonomously controlled the speed and direction - failed.
As per the report, the engine came on again after a while, but instead of decelerating the lander, it accelerated it, resulting in crashing of the lander on the lunar surface at a speed of 500 kmph on 11 April 2019.
ISRO is also seeking to find out how the sensors installed on the Vikram lander behaved during the powered descent towards the lunar surface.
“We do not know exactly what we are going to find, but there is a possibility that something common has occurred in both (Chandrayaan-2 and Beresheet) landing operations going awry,” one of the scientists was quoted in the report as saying.
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