India’s lunar orbiter Chandrayaan-1 lost contact with ISRO’s ground station early on August 29. “We are not able to establish contact with the spacecraft. We are not getting the data, we are not able to send commands,” an ISRO official told the Press Trust of India. “In simple terms, the spacecraft has become dumb. It can’t speak.” The 11 scientific payloads onboard the orbiter had been operating normally, and the spacecraft was sending data during a planned sequence to its ground station when contact was lost. Officials are now analyzing data obtained, hoping to find any indications of what could have happened.
Chandrayaan 1 and NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter teamed up on August 20 to perform a bi-static radar experiment, and although no results have been released yet, the data had been successfully returned from the test.
Chandrayaan-1 was launched October 22, 2008, reaching the moon in early November. It has made over 3,000 orbits and its high-resolution cameras relayed over 70,000 digital images of the lunar surface, providing breathtaking views of mountains and craters, including those in the permanently shadowed area of the moon’s polar region.
The Times Now website is reporting that the mission is over, with a quote from Project Director of the Chandrayaan-1 mission, M Annadurai: “The mission is definitely over. We have lost contact with the spacecraft.”
He added “It has done its job technically…100 per cent. Scientifically also, it has done almost 90-95 percent of its job.”
But as of this writing it has only been about 18 hours since contact was lost. We’ll keep you posted on further news on Chandrayaan-1
Hat tip to Svetoslav Alexandrov