"Vikram soft-landed on the Moon again!"
After safely landing on the lunar surface last month, India's Vikram Moon lander just pulled off its next daring stunt.
The lander fired up its engines, causing it to float 15 inches above the lunar surface, then moved laterally. Moments later it landed again, roughly 11 to 15 inches away from where it was sitting previously.
A clip shared by the Indian Space Research Organization shows the view from the lander as the cratered lunar surface goes up in a cloud of dust. Seconds later, the lander's view clears up again, showing a slightly altered landing spot.
"Vikram soft-landed on the Moon again!" the ISRO's update reads.
It's an impressive feat that again demonstrates India's growing off-world prowess.
"All systems performed nominally and are healthy," the ISRO wrote.
🇮🇳Vikram soft-landed on 🌖, again!
Vikram Lander exceeded its mission objectives. It successfully underwent a hop experiment.
On command, it fired the engines, elevated itself by about 40 cm as expected and landed safely at a distance of 30 – 40 cm away.… pic.twitter.com/T63t3MVUvI
— ISRO (@isro) September 4, 2023
Vikram's successful flight was performed shortly before it and its rover cousin were scheduled to take a prolonged nap. Early Monday morning, the lander entered sleep mode.
"Vikram will fall asleep next to Pragyan once the solar power is depleted and the battery is drained," the ISRO tweeted on Monday. "Hoping for their awakening, around September 22, 2023."
The stakes are pretty high. If Vikram fails to get up from its slumber, it could be game over for the mission.
"Hoping for a successful awakening for another set of assignments!" the ISRO tweeted over the weekend. "Else, it will forever stay there as India's lunar ambassador."
More on the lander: India's Moon Rover Has Gone to Sleep
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