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India loses contact with spacecraft on mission to the moon

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:20s - Published < > Embed
India loses contact with spacecraft on mission to the moon

India loses contact with spacecraft on mission to the moon

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.

Sarah Charlton reports.

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India loses contact with spacecraft on mission to the moon

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF INDIAN SPACE RESEARCH ORGANISATION, KAILASAVADIVOO SIVAN, SAYING: "The communications from the lander to the ground station was lost." A moment of history dashed as India lost contact with a spacecraft it was hoping to land on the moon.

A major setback for the nation's ambitious plans to become the first country to probe the unexplored lunar south pole, where scientists believe there could be water ice.

The Indian designed lander had been orbiting the moon before it began a nerve-wracking descent.

But in the final stages of its "soft" landing, communication was lost.

(UPSOT) (English) INDIAN PRIME MINISTER, NARENDRA MODI, SAYING: "Be courageous." Prime Minister Nerandra Modi consoled the distraught scientists on Saturday (September 7), telling them, and the nation, that the best is yet to come.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) INDIAN PRIME MINISTER, NARENDRA MODI, SAYING: "There are new frontiers to discover and new places to go.

We will rise to the occasion and scale newer heights of success." Official data has not yet been released to indicate exactly what went wrong, but Modi hinted that the lander might have traveled at a higher-than-expected speed before crashing.

It's leaves the moon's south pole - and the belief that it contains water crators - still tantalisingly unexplored.



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