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Chandrayaan I computers failed in hostile environment

india Updated: Aug 31, 2009 23:35 IST
Satyen Mohapatra
Satyen Mohapatra
Hindustan Times
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Chandrayaan 1's computers failed resulting in the loss of communication which led to the abandonment of the Rs 385 crore prestigious moon mission.

Talking to the Hindustan Times from Goa, ISRO's Director Satellite Centre TK Alex said, " We closed the mission due to failure of electronic component. The communication was controlled from a computer which failed in April due to the harsh atmosphere around the moon (100 degree centigrade temperature and heavy radiation X -rays). However as we had another standby computer we switched it on" But that too failed now and therefore there is no communication. Technically, it is not possible to revive communication anymore. From the ground centre we are not able to send or receive any signals"

Alex assured that they will try to improve the design and power supply of the computer for the next mission, so that they do not have to face similar problem.

The technological objective of the mission had been a hundred per cent success, he said.

The technical objective was to take Chandrayaan from the earth to the moon about 4 lakh kilometers away and make it orbit around the moon very accurately at precisely 100 kilometer above the moon on a circular orbit.

A Moon Impact probe was also detached successfully and impacted on the moon on Nov 14,2008 carrying the Indian tricolour, he said. India is the fourth country to put its flag on moon.

As far as the scientific objective was concerned eleven scientific instruments were carried on Chandrayaan, including some from other countries including US, Europe and Bulgaria, to photograph and survey the moon using three dimensional accurate cameras doing mineralogical and topographical mapping.

"We have covered all the important places on the moon including craters, hills, north pole, south pole, where the Americans had landed, backside of the moon which is not seen. But as some strips are still left we say that we have covered only 95 per cent of the area . If we had more time we would have repeated the photographs covering 100 per cent of the area."

"The scientists from different parts of the world including NASA, Japan and Europe gathered for the international conference here in Goa have been shown the results of the Chandrayaan I, which is being discussed and they are very happy at those results and have congratulated us, " he added.

Alex said that the schedule of ISRO's forthcoming plans including Chandrayaan II to put on moon a rover , and manned mission to moon were continuing as scheduled.

"Earlier we used to have bookish information. For the first time actually sending a spacecraft to moon was a great experience," he added.