Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.
Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:
If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
Cortaro, AZ 85652
You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.
Vikram, India’s first attempt to soft land on the Moon, apparently has failed, with something apparently going wrong in the very last seconds before landing.
As I write this they have not officially announced anything, but the live feed shows a room of very unhappy people.
It is possible the lander made it and has not yet sent back word, but such a confirmation should not take this long.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, was given a very short briefing by K. Sivan, head of ISRO, and then apparently left without comment. This I found an interesting contrast to the actions of Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu when its lunar lander Beresheet failed in landing earlier this year. Netanyahu came out to comfort the workers in mission control, congratulating them for getting as far as they had.
Modi apparently simply left. UPDATE: Modi has reappeared to talk to the children who had won a contest to see the landing as well as people in mission control. After making a public statement he has now left.
They are now confirming that communications was lost at 2.1 kilometers altitude, which was just before landing. They are analyzing the data right now to figure out what went wrong.