‘Lost’ Chandrayaan-1 FOUND ORBITTING MOON.
Pune 12 Mar 2017 (PCP NEWS WASHINGTON) : India’s first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, which was generally considered lost is still orbiting the Moon, which is been found along with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), with the help of new technological application of interplanetary radar as per NASA scientists.
Marina Brozovic, a Radar scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Principal Investigator for the test project said that, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost communication with Chandrayaan-1 on August 29, 2009, barely a year after it was launched on October 22, 2008, We have been able to detect NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in lunar orbit with ground-based radar. Finding derelict spacecraft and space debris in Earth’s orbit can be a technological challenge, Detecting these objects in orbit around Earth’s Moon is even more difficult.
However, with the new technological application of interplanetary radar, the scientists at JPL successfully located the two spacecraft orbiting the Moon. The researchers believe that the new technique could assist planners of future Moon missions. Add to the mix that the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft is very small, a cube about 1.5 meters on each side about half the size of a smart car. Optical telescopes are unable to search for small objects hidden in the bright glare of the Moon.
Brozovic further said that, 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, Chandrayaan-1 is still circling some 200 kilometers above the lunar surface, the scientists determined. In addition to finding Chandrayaan-1, the scientists also located NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter around the Moon.
Although the interplanetary radar has been used to observe small asteroids several million miles from Earth, researchers were not certain that an object of this smaller size as far away as the moon could be detected, even with the world’s most powerful radars. NASA also mentioned that Chandrayaan-1 proved the perfect target for demonstrating the capability of this technique, the researchers said. PCP/DJ 11 30