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NASA Spots Lost Indian Spacecraft on the Moon

Members of the media prepare for the Vikram lander descent on Sept. 6.

Members of the media prepare for the Vikram lander descent on Sept. 6.

Photographer: Manjunath Kiran/AFP via Getty Images

NASA has found an Indian spacecraft that crashed in September while attempting to land near the moon’s south pole during a mission that captivated millions in the South Asian nation.

The U.S. agency released images showing an impact site and debris from the Vikram lander, which disappeared with a rover minutes before a scheduled touchdown that would’ve made India just the fourth nation to pull off a soft landing on the moon. The attempt, watched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, came 50 years after Neil Armstrong’s historic first steps on the lunar surface.