NEW DELHI — A day after India lost contact with a robotic spacecraft that was launched toward the moon’s South Pole, the chairman of the country’s space agency said on Sunday that the lander had been detected on the moon’s surface. K. Sivan, the director of the Indian Space Research Organization, told national news outlets that a thermal image had been taken by the Chandrayaan-2 mission’s orbiter. He said it was still unclear whether the lander was damaged, though he expected it had experienced a “hard landing.” “We are trying to establish a contact,” he was quoted as saying by Asian News International. The thermal image from the orbiter has not been released publicly. A spokesman for the space agency did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday. For years, Indian engineers have prepared for a landing near the unexplored South Pole, following up an Indian mission that orbited the moon and helped to confirm the presence of water ice in the lunar craters. A successful landing on the moon would have made India the fourth nation to accomplish such a feat, after the United States, Russia and China. The lander carried a six-wheel rover, the Indian flag and… Read full this story
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