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Indian Moon Orbiter Goes Silent After Only Ten Months

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
August 29, 2009
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ISRO loses radio contact with Chandrayaan-1
The Hindu

In a major blow to India’s maiden mission to the moon, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) abruptly lost contact with Chandrayaan-1 at 01.30 a.m. on Saturday. This means no command can be given to the spacecraft and no data, including images of the moon’s surface, are being received from it.

The Chandrayaan-1 mission has come to an end in ten months instead of its slated life of two years.

“We are not able to give commands to the spacecraft,” S. Satish, Director, Publications and Public Relations Department of ISRO, told The Hindu. “We are not able to establish communication with it, with the result that we do not know what is happening.”

India’s first spacecraft to the moon was launched on October 22, 2008 from Sriharikota….But the troubles that have cut short the life of the moon mission began in November itself when the spacecraft’s power subsystems started failing one by one. In April the mission went into a crisis, with the primary star-sensor and the backup star-sensor failing. But top ISRO officials appeared keen to play down the setbacks, with a May 20 press release making no mention of the failure of the star-sensors and the power units.

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