Ten months after it was launched,India’s maiden moon mission the ambitious Chandrayaan-1 came to an abrupt end today after ISRO lost communication with the spacecraft,cutting short the dream odyssey that was expected to last two years.
“The mission is definitely over. We have lost contact with the spacecraft,” said Project Director of the Chandrayaan-1 mission M Annadurai.
However,he said: “It (Chandrayaan-1) has done its job technically…100 per cent. Scientifically also,it has done almost 90-95 percent of its job”.
The two-year mission,launched on October 22 last year with much fanfare,was abandoned early today after the after radio contact with the mooncraft was abruptly lost at 0130 hours.
The Deep Space Network at Byalalu near here received the data from the 1,380 kg Chandrayaan-1,which carried 11 instruments on board,including six from overseas,during the previous orbit up to 0025 hours.
ISRO is conducting detailed review of the telemetry data from the spacecraft. “We will analyse as to what happened,” Annadurai said.
Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft,launched by homegrown PSLV-C11 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota,has completed 312 days in orbit,making more than 3,400 orbits around the moon.
It has provided large volume of data from sophisticated sensors such as terrain mapping camera,hyper-spectral imager and moon mineralogy mapper,meeting most of the scientific objectives of the mission.
ISRO said last month Chandrayaan-1 had sent more than 70,000 images of the lunar surface which provide breathtaking views of lunar mountains and craters,especially craters in the permanently shadowed areas of the Moon’s polar region.
Chandrayaan-1 was also collecting valuable data pertaining to the chemical and mineral content of the Moon,ISRO said on July 17.
Significantly,on August 21,ISRO and NASA performed a unique joint experiment that the Indian space agency said could yield additional information on the possibility of existence of ice in a permanently shadowed crater near the North pole of the moon.
The end to the Chandrayaan-1 mission comes just over four months after the onboard star sensor for determining the orientation of the spacecraft started malfunctioning on April 26,and one of the bus management units failed.