Letters

Lander in a hurry?

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Chandrayaan-2 cost a whopping ₹978 crore and, with the crash landing of Vikram, the entire project turned out to be a waste of not only the hard-earned money of the taxpayers but also the effort of the space scientists (“Vikram was not designed to handle large spike in speed,” Jan. 02). Now, when ISRO is planning another moon mission, it is shocking to learn from the organisation’s chairman K. Sivan that Vikram lander crashed on the moon because the navigation control and guidance mechanism in the penultimate phase was not designed to handle the large spike in speed that developed in the last 3-5 minutes of its descent and that they have now corrected this problem in the new modules of Chandrayan-3. Does this mean that the earlier mission was undertaken on a trial and error basis and that the ISRO team had not done their homework properly before the launch? While admitting that they have learnt their lessons from the failure, Mr. Sivan has contradicted his own statement by denying that Chandrayaan-2 was launched without doing thorough tests. One also wants to know the reasons why ISRO had to launch such a huge and prestigious lunar mission at an astronomical cost in such a great hurry, even before conducting thorough tests.

Shalini Gerald,

Chennai

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:19:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/lander-in-a-hurry/article30463784.ece

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