header
Space

ISRO: India’s Vikram Lander Successfully Completes a ‘Hop Experiment’ on the Moon

On command, the Vikram lander “fired the engines, elevated itself by about 40 cm as expected and landed safely at a distance of 30 to 40 cm away,” said ISRO.

New Delhi: ISRO, after putting the rover on the Indian lunar mission in sleep mode over the weekend, decided to experiment with the Vikram lander, with a “hop” test for it, a landing again on the moon, which it successfully passed.

The Vikram lander “successfully underwent a hop experiment” said the space agency, when it made a soft-landing again on the moon.

On command, the Vikram lander “fired the engines, elevated itself by about 40 cm as expected and landed safely at a distance of 30 to 40 cm away,” ISRO said in an update on ‘X’.

This is being seen as the Vikram lander exceeding its mission objectives, with this ‘kick-start’ being a portend of future ability to propel returns as well as missions with humans.

When Chandrayaan-3 landed on the moon on August 23, it became only the fourth country ever to have its device touch the moon. The other countries are the United States, erstwhile Soviet Russia and China. India became the first to ever reach the south pole of the moon.

Other missions?

As international space expert Mariel Borowitz told The Conversation, there is reason for the moon to excite people and successful missions with regard to it spell success.

Borowitz said, “In addition to India’s Chandrayaan-3 rover near the south pole, there is also South Korea’s Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, which is studying the moon’s surface to identify future landing sites; the NASA-funded CAPSTONE spacecraft, which was developed by a space startup company; and NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The CAPSTONE craft is studying the stability of a unique orbit around the moon, and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is collecting data about the moon and mapping sites for future missions.

Also, she added, “while India Chandrayaan-2 rover crashed, the accompanying orbiter is still operational. China Chang’e-4 and Chang’e-5 landers are still operating on the moon as well. Other nations and commercial entities are working to join in. Russia Luna-25 mission crashed into the moon three days before the Chandrayaan-3 landed, but the fact that Russia developed the rover and got so close is still a significant achievement. The same could be said for the lunar lander built by the private Japanese space company ispace. The lander crashed into the moon in April 2023.”