Goodbye Chandrayaan-1

Chandrayaan-1The Indian lunar orbiter Chandrayaan-1 was lost…

Just 2 days after I wrote about how Chandrayaan-1 teamed up with LRO to take a look at Erlanger Crater, I got the news that we lost radio contact with it. I didn’t write about it that time because I hope that somehow we will be able to recover it… but it seems that it was gone…

Chandrayaan-1 was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota in Southern India on October 22 last year. It was designed to last two years, but it only lasted 315 days, barely half its expected lifetime. However, according to its project director M Annadurai Chandrayaan-1 “has done its job technically…100%. Scientifically also, it has done almost 90-95 percent of its job”.

The lunar probe had completed 312 days in orbit, making more than 3,400 orbits around the moon. It 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.

It 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.

We may hear about this lunar probe again, about 1000 days later, when it crashes onto the lunar surface.

Goodbye Chandrayaan-1.

Source: The Times of India

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~ by thChieh on September 6, 2009.

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