India attempting to re-establish connection with nation's first moon rover

Published: Sep. 9, 2019 at 5:54 AM EDT
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India has located the lander from its Chandrayaan-2 mission to soft-land a rover on the moon but has not yet been able to establish communication, India's space agency said.

The historic mission appeared to end in failure on Saturday after scientists lost contact with the rover moments before touching down on the lunar surface.

But all is not lost, the space agency said. Even if communications with the rover cannot be recovered, the orbiter is expected to continue its mission of mapping the lunar surface and studying the outer atmosphere of the moon.

The Chandrayaan-2, which means "moon vehicle" in Sanskrit, took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in southern Andhra Pradesh on July 22. Weighing 3.8 tons and carrying 13 payloads, it had three elements: a lunar orbiter, lander and rover.

A successful landing would have brought India into the elite group of nations who have successfully accomplished a soft landing on the moon, after the United States, the former Soviet Union and China.

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