According to the report, Vikram’s braking thrusters malfunctioned — though we don’t know why — and it crashed within 500 meters of its designated landing site. All is not lost, though. All of the eight scientific instruments are still functioning and “providing valuable scientific data,” said Jitendra Singh, minister of state for the Department of Space.
Had ISRO successfully landed Vikram on the Moon, it would have made India only the fourth country in history to make a moon landing. ISRO might be able to salvage the mission, but the mishap is disheartening and a reminder that landing on the Moon is still hard.