In­dia loses touch with lan­der on its fi­nal ap­proach to moon

The Morning Call - - NATION & WORLD -

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.

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