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India loses contact with spacecraft on mission to the moon

7 September 2019 - 76   - 0

India lost contact with a spacecraft it was attempting to land on the moon on Saturday, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said, in a setback to the nation's ambitious plans to become the first country to probe the unexplored lunar south pole.

The lander of India's Chandrayaan-2 moon mission was attempting a "soft," or controlled, landing near the south pole of the moon where scientists believe there could be water ice. ISRO lost communication with it just as it was about to land on the moon.

"Data is being analyzed," ISRO Chairman K Sivan told a room full of distraught scientists at the agency's tracking center in Bengaluru.

The Indian designed spacecraft, which had been orbiting the moon, began descending towards the lunar surface at about 2007 GMT but scientists lost contact with it during the penultimate stage of the descent.

(REUTERS)

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