India’s lunar lander finally breaks away from Chandrayaan 2 and starts its descent towards the Moon

Chandrayaan 2's lunar lander, Vikram, has successfully detached from the orbiter and is on its way to the moonISRO

  • India's lunar lander, Vikram, has broken away from the Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft.
  • The orbiter will circle the Moon and Vikram descends towards the lunar surface with Pragyan, the lunar rover, on board.
  • Vikram will attempt a soft landing on the Moon on 7 September 2019.
India's lunar mission was off to a rocky start but now it's approaching its moment of truth.

Chandrayaan 2's lunar lander, Vikram, has successfully detached itself from the spacecraft and is on its way to the Moon's South Pole after a month of flying through space.


Vikram, named after Vikram A Sarabhai — the father of the Indian Space Programme — is designed to collect data for 14 days and execute a soft landing on the Moon.

Chandrayaan 2's orbiter will remain in orbit around the Moon and help Vikram navigate, as it attempts the land in one of the most cratered regions on the lunar surface.

The lander's attempt to soft land the lunar surface will be the "15 most terrifying minutes" for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), according to the Chairman K Sivan.

India is the first country in the world to attempt a soft landing in the South polar region of the Moon and the fourth in the world to soft land on the lunar surface.

The lander also has the Pragyan, the rover, on board. Pragyan will roll off the lander once it sets down between two of the Moon's craters — Manzinus C and Simplelius N — on 7 September 2019.
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