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Akinwunmi Adesina re-elected as AFDB president

Saturday, 7 September 2019

India's space agency loses touch with lunar lander before it reaches south pole

India's space agency has lost touch with its lunar lander as it approached the moon's south pole.

It's not clear whether the Vikrum lander has crashed or landed.

The agency said the spacecraft's descent was normal until 2km (1.2miles) from the moon's surface. It was supposed to deploy a rover to search for signs of water.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to "hope for the best", during a visit to mission control in the southern city of Bengaluru.
The space agency is analysing data to determine what happened.
Kailasavadivoo Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, said: "Communications from lander to ground station was lost.
"The data is being analysed."
Had India successfully landed the craft it would be just the fourth nation to land a vessel on the moon's surface, and only the third to operate a robotic rover there.
The United States, the former Soviet Union and China are the only nations to have landed spacecraft on the moon.
Last January, China achieved the first landing on the far side of the moon. In April, an Israeli spacecraft attempting to land crashed moments before touchdown.

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