Explaining the logic, Somanath said that Vikram has been designed in a way that it can make a soft landing on the lunar surface even if all the sensors and two of its engines do not work.
“The entire design of the lander has been made in a manner that makes sure that it would be able to handle failures,” the Isro chief said during a talk on ‘Chandrayaan-3: Bharat’s Pride Space Mission’, hosted by the non-profit organisation Disha Bharat.
The Isro chairman attributed this to a well-engineered design bolstered by robust algorithms.
Isro is planning to land Vikram on Moon on August 23.
“If everything fails, if all the sensors fail, nothing works, still it (Vikram) will make a landing. That’s how it has been designed – provided that the propulsion system works well,” Somanath said.
India’s lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, embarked on its celestial voyage on July 14 and successfully entered lunar orbit on August 5.
A series of three de-orbiting maneuvers are planned to bring the spacecraft closer to the lunar surface.
These intricate exercises are aimed at gradually aligning the spacecraft’s trajectory with the lunar surface, facilitating a planned landing of the Vikram lander as per schedule.
These de-orbiting maneuvers are scheduled for August 9, August 14 and August 16.
The purpose is to progressively reduce the spacecraft’s orbital altitude to a targeted 100km x 100km above the lunar surface.
In a synchronized sequence, following the “deboost” operation to slow down the lander, a subsequent step will involve the separation of the lander propulsion module. This strategic maneuver will pave the way for the final descent and landing on the lunar terrain.
One of the main challenges for the Isro team would be to maneuver the horizontal orientation of the “Vikram” lander into a vertical stance for safe lunar touchdown.
Somanath underscored the importance of transitioning from horizontal to vertical motion, highlighting that this aspect was a previous stumbling block during the Chandrayaan-2 mission.
(With inputs from PTI)