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Former ISRO chief Madhvan Nair hails NASA for finding long lost Indian first lunar probe 'Chandrayaan I'

More than seven years later, NASA's ground-based radar indicated that the spacecraft generally considered lost in space is srill circling some 124 miles (200 kilometers) above the lunar surface.


Former ISRO chief Madhvan Nair hails NASA for finding long lost Indian first lunar probe 'Chandrayaan I'

New Delhi: US space agency NASA's recent finding of India's Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft has been hailed by Madhvan Nair, former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the key figure behind the country's first lunar mission.

For Nair, the big achievement in discovering the probe is the advancement made in NASA’s radar systems.

“The big achievement here is the advancement made in NASA’s radar systems. That they could track our tiny spacecraft from approximately 400,000 km away is a big achievement,” Madhavan Nair was quoted as saying.

 

Chandrayaan-1 was successfully launched on October 22, 2008 by ISRO. However, the Indian space agency declared the mission over after it lost contact with the spacecrfat in August 2009 - after 312 days in orbit around the moon.

More than seven years later, NASA's ground-based radar indicated that the spacecraft generally considered lost in space is srill circling some 124 miles (200 kilometers) above the lunar surface.

“Back then, we had predicted a two-year life for Chandrayaan I. But we lost contact after a power system failure,” Madhavan Nair recalled.

Besides Chandrayaan 1, NASA’s radar had also managed to locate its own Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

"Finding LRO was relatively easy, as we were working with the mission's navigators and had precise orbit data where it was located. Finding India's Chandrayaan-1 required a bit more detective work because the last contact with the spacecraft was in August of 2009,” said Marina Brozovic, a radar scientist at JPL and principal investigator for the test project.

Nair believed that NASA’s technology which helped it locate the Chandrayaan I would be helpful in tracking meteors and other celestial objects.

ISRO said Chandrayaan-1 has made over 3,400 orbits around the moon and the mission was concluded when the communication with the spacecraft was lost on August 29, 2009.

NASA's new radar technique could also assist planners of future moon missions.

From Zee News

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