Pre-launch photo shows India’s Pragyan rover mounted on the ramp projecting from out of the sides of Vikram lunar lander.
These Chandrayaan-2 vehicles crashed near the Moon’s south polar region.
Credit: ISRO

India is reportedly moving ahead with its Chandrayaan-3 Moon mission, a 2020 flight of a lander and rover – apparently minus an orbiter.

India’s lunar lander impact point is near center of image and stands out due to the dark rays and bright outer halo. Note the dark streak and debris about 100 meters to the south, south east of the impact point. Diagonal straight lines are uncorrected background artifacts.
Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

The Hindustan Times reports that minister of state for department of space, Jitendra Singh, confirmed the Chandrayaan-3 lunar exploration trek on Tuesday.  

Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander suffered a propulsion problem en route to its landing zone on September 7th. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter later spotted the wreckage of the Vikram that also carried a rover named Pragyan.

India’s Chandrayaan-2 orbiter – up and operating.
Credit: ISRO

“The velocity was reduced from 1683 m/s to 146 m/s. During the second phase of the descent, the reduction in velocity was more than the designed value. Due to this deviation, the initial conditions at the start of the fine braking phase were beyond the designed parameters. As a result, Vikram hard landed within [1,640 feet] 500 meters of the designated landing site,” the Hindustan Times report notes, citing a reply from India’s parliament.


Meanwhile, the orbiter of the Chandrayaan-2 mission continues its research, circling the Moon with a powerful set of instruments.

Credit: ISRO

Credit: ISRO

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