Vikram lander hops successfully on lunar surface – Why is this significant?

The Vikram Lander aboard Chandrayaan 3 underwent a successful hop test on Monday before going into sleep mode. With the moon mission completing all planned experiments within one lunar day, the rover and lander will now be ‘awoken’ around September 22 to carry out fresh research. 

“On command it fired the engines, elevated itself by about 40 cm as expected and landed safely at a distance of 30 to 40 cm away. Vikram soft-landed on the moon, again! Vikram Lander exceeded its mission objectives,” ISRO said in an update on ‘X’.

The hop test confirmed ISRO’s ability to ‘kick-start’ the lander once again, days after touching down on the lunar surface.

How was the hop test undertaken?

ISRO said that the payloads and ramp of the lander were folded back before performing the hop test. The spacecraft was elevated by firing its engines and rose up some 1.3 foot into the air before re-landing on the lunar surface at a distance of 30 to 40 cm.

“All systems performed nominally and are healthy. Deployed Ramp, ChaSTE and ILSA were folded back and redeployed successfully after the experiment,” ISRO said.

The space agency also shared before and after pictures of the hop test.  

Why is this significant?

The hop test will help scientists in future Moon missions where samples could be brought back to Earth and more importantly help the human missions being planned.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 04 Sep 2023, 07:59 PM IST

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