Bangalore: ISRO had to abruptly abandon its 10-month maiden moon mission after the spacecraft lost contact with its controllers early on Saturday, much ahead of its two-year mission period.
“The mission is definitely over. We have lost contact with the spacecraft,” Mylswamy Annadurai, project director of the Chandrayaan-1 told PTI.
However, he said the mission, which had five indigenous and six international experiments, had almost completed its scientific objectives.
“It (Chandrayaan-1) has done its job technically ... 100%. Scientifically also, it has done almost 90-95% of its job,” said Annadurai.
The two-year mission, launched on 22 October last year, was abandoned early on Saturday as the mission controllers “abruptly lost” radio contact with the mooncraft at 0130 IST.
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 said in a statement.
Chandrayaan-I, which propelled India into the select group of moon-faring nations, has completed 312 days in space and more than 3400 orbits around the moon.
Earlier, the mission had developed snag in its star sensor which helps focus the spacecraft to a particular lunar position and scientists had to patch up two other instruments to keep its orientation.
ISRO is conducting detailed review of the telemetry data from the spacecraft. “We will analyse as to what happened,” Annadurai said.
“Detailed review of the telemetry data received from the spacecraft is in progress and the health of the spacecraft sub-systems is being analysed,” the ISRO statement said.
Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, launched by homegrown PSLV-C11 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, 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 17 July.
Significantly, on 21 August, 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.