India has lost contact with its Chandrayaan-2 lander, Vikram, which was scheduled to land near the lunar south pole on Friday.When Vikram was 2 kilometers above the lunar surface, the Indian Space Research Organization lost contact with the lander.
Zellner says the best way to settle the lunar cataclysm debate will be to visit craters where samples aren’t likely to have been contaminated by the Imbrium impact, such as the south pole or the far side of the moon.
As detailed by Bezos, the plan is to send the lunar lander, called Blue Moon, to Shackleton Crater at the moon’s south pole. According to Bezos, the Blue Moon lander will be able to soft land on the lunar surface with up to 6.5 metric tons of payload weight.
But Tuesday, at the fifth meeting of the National Space Council, Vice President Mike Pence doled out a big piece of information: When American astronauts go back to the moon, they will land at the lunar south pole.
The Beresheet lander is a joint venture between Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL —one of the participants in the Google Lunar X Prize, which challenged private companies to land spacecraft on the moon without government funds—and Israel Aerospace Industries, the country's largest aerospace and defense company.
But yesterday, China’s space agency announced that the frigidity of the lunar night is even more intense than we’d thought: The country’s Chang’e 4 spacecraft recorded an icy low of –310 degrees Fahrenheit (–190 degrees Celsius).