Written by Talent KAS

Related Topics: Science &Technology, Chandrayaan-2


  • The Vikram lander was to make a historic first soft landing near the moon’s South Pole at 1.55 a.m. on September 7.
  • Vikram lost its earth link when it was 1 km and about 3 minutes from touchdown.
  • The Orbiter would continue to observe the moon’s surface and its exosphere for a year by encircling the natural satellite.

Vikram Lander

  • The Lander of Chandrayaan 2 is named Vikram after Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Programme.
  • It was designed to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 Earth days.
  • The Lander was designed to execute a soft landing on the lunar surface.
  • The Lander carried three scientific payloads to conduct surface and subsurface science experiments.

Vikram Payloads

  • Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity: Will characterise the seismicity around the landing site
  • Chandra’s Surface Thermo-physical Experiment: Will examine the Moon’s thermal conductivity and temperature gradient
  • Langmuir Probe: Will conduct ionosphere studies on the lunar surface

Why there is a deadline for establishing contact?

  • Lander and rover were supposed to be functional only for 14 days from the day of their touchdown.
  • Lunar days and nights are equivalent to 14 Earth days.
  • The nights on the Moon can be very cold, especially in the South Polar Region where Vikram is lying.
  • Temperatures could drop to as low as -200°C.
  • The instruments aboard the lander are not designed to withstand that kind of temperature.
  • The electronics would not work and would get permanently damaged.

Chandrayaan-2 Mission

  • It was India’s second mission to the moon, the first one being Chandrayaan-1
  • Chandrayaan 2 was designed to explore and perform studies on the South Pole region of lunar terrain which was not explored and sampled by any past mission.
  • It comprised a fully indigenous Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan). The Rover Pragyan was housed inside Vikram lander.
[For more details regarding Chandrayaan-2,] [Source: The Hindu, Indian Express]


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