India loses communication with its unmanned moon lander

NEW DELHI — India's space agency said it lost touch Saturday with its Vikram lunar lander as it aimed to land on the south pole of the moon and deploy a rover to search for signs of water.

The space agency was analyzing data as it worked to determine what had happened.

"Communications from lander to ground station was lost," said K Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation. "The data is being analysed."

A successful landing would have made India just the fourth country to land a vessel on the lunar surface, and only the third nation to operate a robotic rover there.

The roughly $140 million mission, known as Chandrayaan-2, was intended to study permanently shadowed moon craters that are thought to contain water deposits that were confirmed by the Chandrayaan-1 mission in 2008.

Before the mishap, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at the space center in Bengaluru to witness the planned landing in the early hours of Saturday and congratulate scientists who were part of the mission.

The space agency's chairman had earlier called Chandrayaan-2 the "most complex mission ever" undertaken by the space agency.

The mission lifted off on July 22 from the Satish Dhawan space centre, in Sriharikota, an island off the coast of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

After its launch on July 22, Chandrayaan-2 spent several weeks making its way to the moon, ultimately entering lunar orbit on Aug 20.

On Sept. 2, Vikram separated from the mission's orbiter, and the lander began a series of braking maneuvers to lower its orbit and ready itself for landing.

You may also like these

UN: Climate disasters imperil Bangladesh kids'...

Apr 5, 2019

A report by the U.N. children's agency says the lives and futures of more than 19 million...

Once-reviled scavenger bird now the pride of its...

Feb 9, 2017

The greater adjutant stork used to be an object of revulsion in northeast India; its fortunes may...

Girl found living with monkeys in Indian forest

Apr 6, 2017

Indian police are reviewing reports of missing children to try to identify a girl who was found...

UN officials urge India to lift social media ban...

May 11, 2017

Two United Nations experts are urging the Indian government to lift ban on social media sites and...

Controversial IVF doctor gives hope to older...

May 25, 2017

Scores of women in India give birth at advanced ages with the help of a controversial doctor who...

Search
Broaden News

Sign up now!

Recent Discovery will take you to the captivating developments in science, technology, and the universe around us. We deliver to you the latest news, theories, and developments in the world of science.

Contact us: sales[at]recentdiscovery.com