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," Project Director of the Chandrayaan-1 mission, M. Annadurai, told PTI.
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," Mr. Annadurai said.
ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair told PTI in an interview earlier this month that 95 per cent of the scientific objectives of the Chandrayaan-1 mission had been achieved.
"Another five per cent, what’s left out, we will try to take up in the next season which is starting in October so that we can complete all the observations", he had said.
ISRO had convened a meeting of scientists next month to "ensure it has not left out anything. Today, we know that there is no redundancy on board. So, if further failure....if it happens, then we will be crippled," he had said.
There were 11 payloads on board the 1,380 kg Chandrayaan-1 — five designed and developed in India, three from European Space Agency, one from Bulgaria, and two from the U.S.