Chandrayaan-2 : India's moon probe failed to land

Last updated at 10:36
Chandrayaan-2 taking offIsro
The mission's lift-off was broadcast live to an audience of hundreds of millions

India's space scientists had hoped to land an unmanned probe on the moon on Friday, but it never made it to it's destination.

The India Space Research Organization (Isro) lost contact with the craft, which was called the Chandrayaan-2, moments before its Vikram module was about to touchdown at the lunar south pole.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was still very proud of a programme that had come so near.

"The best is yet to come in our space programme. India is with you," said Mr Modi.

The mission's lift-off was broadcast live to an audience of hundreds of millions of people.

school-children-watching-the-lunar-landingGetty Images
School children watched the failed moon landing on TV, along with millions of other people around India.
What happened?

The Chandrayaan-2 was launched into the Moon's orbit on 20 August and was due to make a controlled descent to the moon's surface early on Saturday.

It approached the Moon as normal but an error occurred about 2.1km (1.3 miles) from the surface.

The team of scientists in Bangalore lost all communication with the space craft "seconds" before it was due to touch down.

It is not known what has happened to the space craft, but Mr Modi said there would be more opportunities for the mission to be completed.

What was this mission all about?

Chandrayaan-2, which means "Moon vehicle 2", was the most complex mission ever attempted by India's space agency.

"It is the beginning of a historical journey," Isro chief Kailasavadivoo Sivan said after launch in July.

The Vikram lander carried a moon rover with instruments to analyse the lunar soil, searching for water and minerals and measuring moonquakes.

It was so significant because it was one of the cheapest moon missions ever - it cost the Indian Space agency just half the amount it cost to make Avengers: Endgame which cost a staggering $356m.