Nov 26, 2019

India admits its lunar lander crashed

The Indian Space Research Organisation's Chandrayaan-2 launches on July 22, 2019. Photo: Arun Sankar/AFP via Getty Images.

The Indian government confirmed in a recent report that its Vikram lunar lander crashed or "hard landed" during its September mission after its fine braking thrusters malfunctioned.

Why it matters: The unsuccessful mission was India's attempt to become the first country to explore the moon's south pole, after announcing plans to launch people into space in the early 2020s.

Details: Jitendra Singh, minister of state for India's Department of Space, has not clarified the source of Vikram's fine braking malfunction, per NPR. The Space Department's report states that the Chandrayaan-2 launch, orbital critical maneuvers, lander separation, de-boost and rough braking phase were successfully accomplished.

  • The Indian government's new report is its first official statement on the crash since September, NPR reports.

Go deeper: What else we know about India’s lunar lander

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NASA finds India's crashed Moon lander

A before/after showing the Vikram lander's crash site. Gif: NASA/Goddard/ASU

The final resting place of India's failed lunar lander has been found.

The big picture: The Vikram lander was India's bid to become the fourth nation to land and operate a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. The mission failed on Sept. 6 when a thruster issue caused the lander to crash not long before its expected touchdown.

Go deeperArrowDec 3, 2019

NASA's difficult road to the Moon

Photo: NASA

A new report paints a stark picture of NASA's progress toward accomplishing its Artemis mission to the Moon in 2024.

Why it matters: The report from NASA's inspector general — and others like it — reveals some of what lurks below the positive face the space agency puts forward announcing its accomplishments and hyping its future endeavors.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019

India passes restrictive citizenship amendment targeting Muslim migrants

Protest against the Indian government's citizenship amendment bill. Photo: Arindam Dey/AFP/Getty Images

India passed a citizenship amendment on Wednesday that, for the first time, makes religion a criterion of acquiring Indian nationality, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Concerns continue to grow that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is turning the country into a Hindu nationalist state. The amended citizenship law creates a pathway to citizenship for Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Parsi and Sikh migrants who fled from Pakistan and Afghanistan before 2015, but excludes Muslims entirely, Al Jazeera reports.

Go deeperArrowDec 11, 2019