In the early hours of Saturday ISRO lost radio communication with Chandrayaan 1, the first ever lunar mission launched by India. The space craft has 11 instruments on board and it was expected to orbit Moon at least till October 2010.
Indian Space Research Organisation Director S Satish said
We lost communication link with the spacecraft for the first time in the wee hours of Saturday. Attempts to re-establish contact have been futile. The mission is as good as lost
Problems to the mission started in July when a serious snag developed in the lunar craft’s altitude sensor. This forced ISRO to push it’s orbit from 100 KMS to 200 KMS from Moon’s surface.
Even though the mission ended abruptly ISRO is not sad. Chandrayaan-1 Project Director Annadurai said
The mission is definitely over. We have lost contact with the spacecraft. It has done its job technically…100 per cent. Scientifically also, it has done 90-95 percent of its job
The launch of Chandrayaan 1 last October made every Indian proud. It was a great scientific achievement by Indian scientists to plant Indian flag on Moon’s surface and join an exclusive club of nations including the US, former Soviet Union, European Space Agency, China and Japan to have sent missions to moon.
ISRO Press Release
Here is the press release by ISRO on loosing communication link with Chandrayaan 1
Radio contact with Chandrayaan-I spacecraft was abruptly lost at 0130 Hrs (IST) on August 29, 2009. Deep Space Network at Byalalu near Bangalore received the data from Chandrayaan-I during the previous orbit upto 0025 Hrs (IST).
Detailed review of the Telemetry data received from the spacecraft is in progress and health of the spacecraft subsystems is being analysed.
It may be recalled that Chandrayaan-I spacecraft was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota on October 22, 2008 .The Spacecraft has completed 312 days in orbit making more than 3400 orbits around the Moon and providing large volume of data from sophisticated sensors like Terrain Mapping Camera, Hyper-spectral Imager, Moon Mineralogy Mapper etc., meeting most of the scientific objectives of the mission.
Chandrayaan 2 In 2012
ISRO is expected to launch the second unmanned lunar mission, Chandrayaan 2, in 2010. But with the abrupt end of Chandrayaan 1, it is not sure when the Chandrayaan 2 will be launched. Lets hope that this incident is not going to the dent the spirits of ISRO and they proceed with all the planned missions.