The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has not publicly revealed the Failure Analysis Committee’s (FAC) report details of its Chandrayaan-2 mission, that looked at why Vikram Lander crashed on the Moon on 7th September.
The government did give a brief answer to the Parliament recently. However, according to the space agency’s tradition, the failure analysis reports details after failed missions are made public.
The lander crashed more than 3 months ago. The details have not been made public yet, even though a FAC report has already been submitted by an expert panel.
As of now, the only official statement on what caused the crash has come as an answer to a question on the mission in Lok Sabha, back in November from Jitendra Singh (Minister of State in Prime Minister Office).
According to him, on 2nd September, the moon lander separated from the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, as per the plan. On 7th September, it was positioned “to achieve a soft landing on the moon surface.’’
“The first phase of descent was performed nominally from an altitude of 30 km to 7.4 km above the moon surface. The velocity was reduced from 1683 m/s to 146 m/s. During the second phase of 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 500m of the designated landing site,” he said.
According to K Sivan, the chairman of ISRO, this statement was based on the FAC report. However, the details which have been made public till now are unclear about things like the cause of the exaggerated reduction in velocity and the way these issues will be tackled in case the Chandrayaan-3 mission is planned in 2020.