ISRO Refuses To Share Report On Vikram Crash-Landing On Moon

ISRO Finds ‘Wounded’ Vikram On Moon’s Surface

Bengaluru: Why and how Vikram, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s moon lander, did hara-kiri on the lunar surface will continue to remain a secret, if not a mystery.

ISRO has refused to share the findings of a failure analysis committee (FAC) on what happened in the final moments that resulted in Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram crash-landing on the moon on September 7 last year.

Details of the findings were sought by RTI activist Sathish GN of Bengaluru. Replying to his RTI application, Isro said “The information sought is exempted under Section 8(1) of the RTI Act.”

This section exempts disclosure of information which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign states or lead to incitement of an offence.

Copies of the reply found its way to the local media.

The RTI application was filed on September 23, 2020 and Isro replied on October 16.

Though the department of space and Isro have not released few details on what went wrong with Chandrayaan-2 lander, the Centre, in a written reply to a member’s query in the Lok Sabha, said extra braking caused the deviation that eventually led to the hard-landing. The reply is however, silent on the reason for additional braking.

India spent Rs 970 crore — Rs 603 crore on the orbiter and landing module and Rs 367 crore on launching it — on Chandrayaan-2.

Chandrayaan-3 is scheduled for a 2021 launch. Sources say that the faults that were found in Chandrayaan-2 have been rectified in the next version.

Meanwhile, Gaganyaan, the first mission under India’s human spaceflight programme, may miss the August 2022 deadline due to disruptions caused by Covid lockdowns.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set a deadline of August 2022, but Isro is reportedly working on a new deadline, according to media reports.

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