What Happened to India’s Moon Lander? | SciShow News

[ intro ]
In the last fifty years,
humans have landed enough spacecraft on the
Moon that,
if you’re not careful,
the missions can start to feel… ordinary.
Like, oh, more robots on the surface?
Whatever, we’ve been doing that since the
The truth is, though, those landings are hard.
They often depend on thousands of steps going
not just mostly right,
but going perfectly.
And sometimes…
that doesn’t happen.
Last Friday, India became the latest nation
to learn that firsthand
when they lost contact with their spacecraft
right before it landed on the Moon.
Their mission, called Chandrayaan-2,
was designed with three main parts:
an orbiter, a rover, and a lander called Vikram.
It launched in July, and its goal was to study
the South Pole-Aitken Basin
near the Moon’s south pole.
In 2009, India’s first Chandrayaan mission
detected ice within some of the basin’s
which could someday support a permanent lunar
or help us understand where Earth’s water
came from.
So the idea was to land Vikram and its rover
near the area and explore the terrain up-close
for the first time.
Years of work went into the mission, and it
was supposed to be a big, historic thing
— because it also would have been India’s
first Moon landing.
But it didn’t go as planned.
As the lander approached the Moon last week,
it appeared to be traveling faster than expected.
Then, only about two kilometers above the
lunar surface,
mission controllers lost contact.
The next day, Chandrayaan-2’s orbiting satellite
captured an image
of what appeared to be Vikram’s landing
site, but there was still no signal from it.
When we filmed this episode on Tuesday,
that’s all that had been confirmed by ISRO,
the space agency behind the mission.
Reports had started to trickle out that the
lander may at least be in one piece,
but everything else is unclear.
Stories like this are always hard,
but in the world of space exploration, they’re
not uncommon.
After all, none of the countries that have
landed on the Moon
were successful on their first try.
In fact, the Soviet Union failed eleven times
before achieving the first successful landing
in 1966.
And earlier this year, an Israeli lander failed
in almost exactly the same way Vikram may
So even if they never get in contact with
their lander,
the ISRO team isn’t alone in this.
And fortunately, no matter what happens,
Chandrayaan-2 also won’t be a total loss.
The orbiter is doing great, and ISRO expects
it will continue to study the Moon
for as many as seven years.
In that time, its instruments will study the
thin lunar atmosphere and the Moon’s water,
and its camera will snap some really high-resolution
According to ISRO, that camera is actually
the highest-resolution one ever sent to orbit
the Moon,
and it’s capable of taking pictures of objects
just 32 centimeters across.
That will be great for studying features on
the surface —
and maybe even helping ISRO diagnose what
happened during last week’s landing.
Missions are an awesome way to learn about
the solar system,
but we don’t always need to go to space
to learn something about it.
Sometimes, meteors come crashing to Earth,
bringing new information and the chance for
new discoveries.
And that’s something another team of scientists
has been celebrating lately!
In the journal American Mineralogist,
a team from Caltech recently published their
study of the Wedderburn meteorite,
which was discovered in Australia in 1951.
It’s a cool red and black rock,
but the researchers confirmed something special
about it:
It contains a new, naturally-occurring mineral!
That find came with a pretty nifty perk, too:
They got to name it!
By rule, only minerals known to exist in nature
get their own proper names.
So even though scientists have seen this one
in smelters for decades,
it’s always been called by its chemical
The team chose to call this mineral edscot
after the American scientist Ed Scott.
Who first proposed the mineral exist in the
Wedderburn meteorite.
At the time, though, instruments weren’t
advanced enough for Scott to confirm the mineral
was there,
so that’s where this new research came in.
The team from Caltech examined their sample
using methods like scanning electron microscopy,
which uses a beam of electrons, rather than
Those images revealed tiny pieces of edscottite
squished between other minerals.
And the images were detailed enough for the
team to study the mineral’s structure
and finally confirm Scott’s hypothesis from
decades earlier.
As for how the mineral got there?
Well, it may have been surprisingly similar
to how it’s made in smelters on Earth.
Wedderburn is an iron meteorite,
which means it was most likely part of the
core of a large asteroid or small planet.
This object likely formed early in the solar
system when a bunch of smaller rocks got crunched
All those collisions would have added a lot
of heat to the object,
which would have helped its molten metal sink
towards the center to form a core.
“Hot metal” also sounds a lot like the
conditions inside a smelter,
so it all kind of fits together.
Still, think about how amazing that is:
A piece of an asteroid or planet that hasn’t
existed for millions or billions of years
somehow ended up on Earth.
And now, we get to study it.
The researchers aren’t positive why edscottite
hasn’t been found in other iron meteorites,
so there are more questions to be answered
But whatever the reason,
it’s pretty cool that something first found
as industrial waste turns out to be part of
the solar system’s building blocks.
Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow
Space News!
We know there’s a lot of science content
on the Internet,
and we’re thankful that you chose to watch
some of ours.
If you want to help us keep making episodes
like this,
you can learn how over at patreon.com/scishow.
And to all of our current patrons: Thank you!
We’re glad to have you.
[ outro ]

100 thoughts on “What Happened to India’s Moon Lander? | SciShow News

  1. Picture abhi Baaki hai Mere Dost…
    Chandrayan 3, Mangalyan 2, Mission Aditya, Gaganyan…..
    We are first to fail on South Pole…

  2. chandrayaan 2's orbiter has 1st of its kind SAR (synthetic aperture radar) that can see 10m bellow surface – along with it really high resolution thermal camera I hope isro will be able to map the terrain of moon's south pole. South pole is a dark side – nobody gone there ever before – so exact mapping of terrain is very much necessary in order to land perfectly in lunar south pole. By the way that google earth images of lunar surface is trash – no details in it – better they remove it 😂 – people started to imagine stupid things seeing google earth – some junior school students in my country started to decide landing site of vikram using google maps 🤣🤣🤣.

  3. So, I get why the US and USSR didn't collaborate in landing back in the day, but why would you not ask someone who has landed successfully to look at your numbers so as to not waste a billion dollars?

  4. If anyone wants to know how India pays to crash a craft into the moon, watch this YT video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttzmM6U9VX0

  5. In the middle of all the moon landing failures America be like…"Hey we had multiple successful piloted moon missions back in the 1969!". Who is the big daddy?. RESPECT AMERICA!.,..and good try India…keep it up!

  6. Chandrayaan 2 is a hoax.
    Our governments (ISRO) ability to fake space has been increased.
    Moon is a luminary in your local sky. The is a self luminating translucent disk not opaque spherical terrafirma reflecting sunlight as you've been told and shown in fake ISRO videos.
    The moon is not a piece of Rock,and that landing on it would not be possible. That means moon is a self luminating translucent disk, then all gravitational theories are out and a new concept of the cosmos and of its lows has to be evolved. Space is scientifically impossible. NASA stupefied everyone with CGI and now ISRO is lying to us. ISRO with all their money and spaceships just give us lie and cartoon style CGI. Sun and the moon are local. Please research for yourself.
    Do we really know the world that we live in???. It's time to expose ISRO. ISRO is lying to us. Jago India Jago.
    So trust your eyes and trust your experience. Search for the truth.

  7. Nothing much, Indians had too much ego, Moon just showed there worth🤣 Make toilets n make your country safe for women first n then think of space. N now dumb Indians will call me Muslim n Pakistani.

  8. You think this would have been an important lesson a couple years ago when they tried to shoot down a satelite with a missile and made things way worse for everyone in that orbit.

  9. Always consider plan two, as it's been needed many times. U S had two propulsion system for that need. It allows higher speed change. At least that's the rumor.

  10. #ISRO for India and humanity, for the pursuit of the ultimate human quest, what is our purpose amd how does the universe works? Will get there next time. NASA is always there to look up to.

  11. Don't forget they were trying to land on south pole of moon which is very different from other moon surfaces maybe little different atmosphere there..no country is landed on south pole till now..indian could be first country to land there technically they did tho coz lunar is not brokern they just lost communition anyways better lucjlk next time.

  12. But still after being Indian I'm fan of Curiosity Rover, SATURN V And Vikram lander…

    Really humans have achieved very giant leap…

    Everyone should remember name of Von Braun

  13. Vikram did not lose contact at 2.1 Km. It lost contact at about 300 m. ISRO chief Mr.Shivan said that " descent was planned and normal performance upto 2.1 km. Subsequently, communication from Lander to the ground stations was lost.

  14. If you're an indian reading this then plz don't scroll down. You'll just get angry and disheartened with a few trolls. Go do something productive for yourself or our country instead. You have been warned !

  15. Anybody who is saying that India must fix it's poverty must understand that exploration is nobody's monopoly everybody is free to explore . Exploration advances human civilization as a whole and not only a single country.Besides things are changing here

  16. The best part about it all was that the entire nation stood in a solid unity with ISRO. In fact, Prime Minister Modi's warm gesture towards a heart-broken ISRO chief speaks for the faith we have in them. Glory awaits!

  17. Science is all about experiments. Sometime you succed, sometime you learn. There is no failure. Keep trying untill you get it done 👍

  18. Nasa went 1000 times further in 1960s than they can go today that is low earth orbit. Which means nasa had far advanced technology 50 years ago than what they have now. All these actors in form of astronuaghts doing fake space walks. China tried doing space walk of their own. But the bubbles gave the illusion away. Chiense must learn how to trick human eye from nasa. But due to geo political reasons isro also acknowledges fake moon landing and other fraudualent activities of nasa. And isro has already announced that nasa will land on moon in 2024. Nasas mars rovar mission was filmed in devon island. Chiense who dont even show live broadcast of their launches like isro as most of their launches are full of technical problems. Somehow managed to land a rovar on moon. Nasa has become source of inspiration for all space agencies that wish to fake their wildest fantacies in space. I dont know when isro will take inspirration from nasa.

  19. Unnecessary useless project by Pseudo scientists. Real man landed on moon in 1970's when Computer technology was in its infancy. in 2019 these guys crashed a lander . Remember 1970 man landed in moon and also they came back . Our wealth is getting wasted for this kind if stupid projects. Mongi cries for lander failure , he do not cry for millions of job loss , millions of Kashmiris caged and Assam people who are losing citizenship . After creating havoc in Economy he is now dancing in USA. Mongi never tried to visit the millions flooded in Karnataka , lost life and homes . He never bothered to visit those people and inquired their well being

  20. As an Indian, I am happy that we tried our best. the lander may not have been a success, but in the orbiter we have sent some of the best instruments humanity has ever built to study the moon. glad that we will be able to help mankind with knowledge we gather from the instruments.

  21. speaks in Russian accent Little did we know that meteorite which held that mineral wasn't just a mineral, but a highly infectious and contagious disease which would later be known simply as "The Bane of Mankind"

  22. I was so impatient to watch this video , cuz the media here is stupid and they weren't explaining they were just showing Modi , instead of the scientists who worked

  23. All of that money wasted on space exploration projects that have been done more than half a century ago that could have been used to feed hungry mouths or fix plumbing issues in slums.

  24. First people to fly naked on elephant to the sun. Hindu indians first sun landing this year, thus this is direct proof of 🐴🍺=💪 $uperpower CowCola . 😂😂😂

  25. Hahaha are India KO kis ne bola chand par charne ka salo jao keto me tatti Karo wash room to jante nahi chale chand par charne

  26. Eugh.
    I'm so sick of scientists naming stuff after themselves. Egotistical bastards.
    Naming something should be an incredible honour that you yourself have the privilege to do, that itself should be the reward. Don't name it after yourself.
    (And yes, I know Ed Scott didn't name it, others did in his honour, but that's still meh).

    Name it after culture, religion, locations (still kinda boring but understandable), ancient languages, etc.
    Don't just name it after some guy no one cares about.

  27. Total nonsese. Exploration. And prey tell me what they will unearth about the moon that is not already known. This is about prestige.

    Like the enforcement in Kashmir. There getting bigger and have geopolitics natrually in site every emerging nations follows the exact same traceing paper.

    Theve done the maths and now want in the big boy club by landing on a rock?. Why bother just sit back and heal your nation. Too many leaks and going to the moon will only give a few key dudes experince. Better spend money on satellites and Internet abilities then space geology.

    Thats what the larger nations are for….

  28. Sometimes my electronic stuff just goes to sleep for a few days and there will be no corrosion on the moon, so it might just come to life again.

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