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Business News/ News / India/  'Even if everything fails, still Vikram lander will…' ISRO chief S Somanath on Chandrayaan-3 landing
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'Even if everything fails, still Vikram lander will…' ISRO chief S Somanath on Chandrayaan-3 landing

ISRO plans proper touchdown of ‘Vikram’ lander even if its sensors and engines fail: ISRO chief S Somanath

A view of the Moon as viewed by the Chandrayaan-3 lander during Lunar Orbit Insertion on 5 August in this screen grab from a video released by Isro. (via REUTERS)Premium
A view of the Moon as viewed by the Chandrayaan-3 lander during Lunar Orbit Insertion on 5 August in this screen grab from a video released by Isro. (via REUTERS)

ISRO chairman S Somanath has said that the lander of India’s third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3, Vikram, will be able to make a soft-landing on the Moon's surface on August 23 even if if all the sensors and two of its engines do not work. 

The statement came from the ISRO chief came during a talk on ‘Chandrayaan-3: Bharat’s Pride Space Mission’ which was hosted by the non-profit organisation Disha Bharat. 

He said that the entire design of the lander has been made in a manner that makes sure that it would be able to handle failures, Somanath said as quoted by PTI. 

“If everything fails, if all the sensors fail, nothing works, still it (Vikram) will make a landing. That’s how it has been designed -- provided that the propulsion system works well," Somanath said. 

Also Read: Chandrayaan-3 functioning very well, orbit changes happening as planned: ISRO chairman S Somanath

Chandrayaan-3 blasted into Space on July 14 and it entered into lunar orbit on August 5. There will be three more de-orbiting manoeuvres -- exercises to bring it closer to the Moon so that Vikram lands on the Moon's surface on August 23. These de-orbiting manoeuvres will be performed on August 9, August 14, and August 16 till its orbit reduces to 100 kmx100 km from the Moon, Somanath said as quoted by PTI. 

Also Read: Chandrayaan-3 vs Russia's Luna-25 race to the moon: here's who will claim the south pole position 1st

Further explaining, he said, a lander propulsion module separation exercise will be taken up subsequently, soon after lander "deboost", a process that slows down the craft. It will be followed by landing on lunar surface on August 23. 

“We have also made sure that if two of the engines (in Vikram) don’t work this time also, it will still be able to land," the ISRO chairman said. 

“So the whole design has been made to make sure that it (Vikram) should be able to handle many failures, provided the algorithms work properly," he added. 

During the address, he said that the biggest challenge, according to him, is to make a horizontal ‘Vikram’ land vertically on the lunar surface. Somanath said once the lander separates from the orbiter, it will move horizontally. Through a series of manoeuvres, it will be brought to a vertical stance in order to land safely on the Moon, however, he added that this exercise is crucial. His reference came after ISRO's failed to get its lander to touchdown safely on the Moon's surface during the last mission. 

“The ability to transfer from horizontal to vertical direction is the trick we have to play here. Here only we had the problem last time," he said. 

“The challenge is also to make sure that the fuel consumed is lesser, the distance calculations are correct and all the algorithms work properly," the ISRO chief said. 

He explained that the ISRO team this time has made arrangements to ensure that Vikram land properly even if there are some variations in the calculations. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 09 Aug 2023, 07:56 AM IST
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