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India has found its crashed lander on the moon still in one piece, and its failure looks a lot like Israel’s

Sahar Esfandiari , Business Insider US
 Sep 09, 2019, 01:58 PM
Images of the lunar surface captured by the terrain mapping camera of the Chandrayaan- 2.

  • India says its moon lander Vikram has been found in one piece on the lunar surface, after it lost contact and crash landed.
  • The lander diverged from its intended path 2.1 kilometres above the surface of the moon and lost communication with Earth on early on Saturday.
  • Vikram is a lander spacecraft built to separate from the larger orbiter, known as Chandrayaan-2, and is part of India's R2.1 billion lunar mission.
  • A successful landing would have made India the 4th country to complete a soft landing on the moon alongside the US, USSR, and China.
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.


India says it has located its moon lander Vikram in one piece after it was believed to have crashed on the moon's surface whilst attempting to land on Saturday.

Asian News International (ANI) reported on Sunday that the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) located the lander on the moon's surface.

"We have found the location of Lander Vikram on the lunar surface and the Orbiter has clicked a thermal image of the lander," Kailasavadivoo Sivan, Chairman of the ISRO told ANI. He said that the ISRO are yet to establish contact with the space craft lander.

CNN News 18 India posted a tweet on Monday saying the Vikram lander "is there as a single piece, not broken into pieces."

It is unclear how much damage has been sustained by the lander.

Vikram is a lander spacecraft built to separate from the larger orbiter, Chandrayaan-2, and is part of India's R2.1 billion lunar mission.

It had been intended to make a soft landing on the moon on Friday, but lost communication with Earth during descent.

According to the chairman of the ISRO, the Vikram spacecraft diverged from its intended path when it was around 2.1 kilometres above the surface of the south pole of the moon.

It was at this positioning early on Saturday morning that the spacecraft operators lost contact with the communications systems and Vikram believed to have crashed into the surface of the moon.

A picture of Chandrayaan-2 being launched into space in July.

Astronomer Jason Davis from the Planetary Society said in a post published over the weekend that the scene was "eerily reminiscent" of Israel's failed moon landing in April, when its landing craft also crashed.

"The most probable conclusion is that Vikram crashed on the surface," he said in the post, which was published prior to the ISRO's confirmation of the crash.

A successful landing would have made India the 4th country to land on the moon alongside the US, Russia and China.

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