Lost Indian lander found on Moon’s surface as team tries to re-establish contact

The Indian Space Research Organisation says it has found the lander lost during Saturday’s failed attempt to land it on the Moon. Communication with the spacecraft was lost in the final moments before touching down.

High-spec equipment on board the Chandrayaan 2 lunar orbiter captured a thermal image of the downed lander, ANI reports, helping the team back on Earth identify its location and sparking some hope of re-establishing contact with the craft.

Indian space program officials said on Saturday that they would continue trying to re-establish contact with the Vikram lander for a fortnight. However, even after finding the craft on Sunday, they aren’t overly optimistic about the chances of successfully renewing communications, according to Indian media reports.

The project aimed to put the lander and a rover on the unexplored southern region of the Moon, with the central mission to study and map lunar water. It’s not clear how much damage the lander sustained when it hit the surface of the Moon.