India’s first moon mission appears to have reached a sudden end with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) losing contact with spacecraft Chandrayaan I. The last communication that ISRO had with the craft was around 1.30 am on Saturday.
"The mission is definitely over. We have lost contact with the spacecraft,” Mylswamy Annadurai, project director of Chandrayaan I, told PTI.
<b1>However, S Satish, the deputy director at the Directorate of Quality and Reliability in ISRO, told HT it was too early to say the mission had ended. “We will not be able to say that until we have analysed all the data we received from the spacecraft”, he said.
Chandrayaan, which was launched on October 22 last year amid much fanfare, was designed for a two-year mission in space. It had completed 312 days in space, and more than 3,400 orbits of the moon, before falling silent about 4 lakh kilometres away from the earth.
Both Annadurai and Satish said the spacecraft had achieved more than 90 per cent of its scientific objectives.
The reason for Chandrayaan’s sudden silence was not clear. “Till the analysis is complete we cannot say what is the reason for the loss of communication,” Satish said.
The craft suffered a setback earlier this year when one of its sensors was burnt due to solar radiation.