India loses touch with lander on its final approach to moon
NEW DELHI — India’s space agency said it lost touch Saturday with its Vikram lunar lander as it made its final approach to the south pole of the moon to deploy a rover to search for signs of water.
The fate of the lander — whether it crashed or landed — wasn’t immediately known.
The agency said the spacecraft’s descent was normal until about 1mile from the lunar surface.
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 thought to contain water deposits that were confirmed by the Chandrayaan-1 mission in 2008.