India terminates maiden moon mission abruptly

India terminates maiden moon mission abruptly

Monday, 31 August 2009, 01:55 Hrs   |    50 Comments
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India terminates maiden moon mission abruptly
Panaji: India's first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 has been terminated abruptly after repeated attempts to restore radio contact with the spacecraft failed, a top space official said Sunday.

"We had to terminate the mission as we don't have contact with the spacecraft. Though we are disappointed with what has happened, we have managed to salvage a large volume of data," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G. Madhavan Nair told reporters at Panaji.

The space agency's deep space network (DSN) at Byalalu, about 40 km from Bangalore, lost radio contact with the mooncraft early Saturday while orbiting at 200 km away from the lunar surface.

Repeated attempts to re-establish the communication link with the beleaguered spacecraft from the space agency's telemetry, tracking and command network (Istrac) at Peenya on the outskirts of the city turned futile.

"Our expert team has come to a conclusion that it is not possible to restore the radio link, as the computers onboard the spacecraft for controlling the mission are non-functional for various reasons. Without the computers functioning, the mission cannot proceed," Nair pointed out.

DSN last received data from the lunarcraft at 00:25 IST Saturday when it was over the Indian subcontinent region.

The space agency has set up an assessment committee to look into the performance of the mission in totality, including the reasons for malfunctioning of its critical star sensor, antennae and the computers onboard.

"The moon mission was a great success and 95 percent of its objective was completed. We could collect a large volume of data, including 70,000 images of the moon," Nair added.

The computers on board the craft could have malfunctioned, triggering off the communication failure, he added.

"The power signals which go to the computer systems failed and we had to terminate the mission," Nair said, adding that the spacecraft was orbiting the moon at a distance of about 200 km and it would take nearly 1,000 days for it to hit the moon's surface.

"We have already initiated discussions with the US and Russia to use their radars to track the orbiting spacecraft," Nair said.

He also said lessons will be learnt from Chandrayaan-I and this failure would not delay the launch of Chandrayaan-II.

"There are some marginal corrections needed," he said, adding that he would be meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next week to speak to him about the mission.

Though ISRO has aborted the mission, the 514-kg Chandrayaan will remain in lunar orbit for over a year and crash onto the moon's surface subsequently.

"We will use the radars of Russia and the US to keep a track of the spacecraft in the lunar orbit and its whereabouts," ISRO director S. Satish told IANS in Bangalore.

Admitting that the two-year timeframe for the mission was too long and premature, the official said some of the experiments were rescheduled and advanced to ensure the data was collected in the first few months of its expedition.

"None of the lunar missions has been for more than a year. Many of them last six-seven months whereas our mission lasted for about 10 months against heavy odds, including the hostile lunar environment, solar radiation and other variations in the space," Satish asserted.

Unfazed by the dramatic reverses encountered by Chandrayaan, the Indian space community remains upbeat about the achievements of the ambitious mission in an uncharted arena.

"We have achieved the engineering or technology objectives of the mission by flying the spacecraft 400,000 km to the moon, inserting it into the lunar orbit and placing the Indian tricolour on the lunar surface Nov 14 without hitch," Nair noted.

Similarly, the scientific objectives such as the chemical and mineralogical mapping of the lunar surface using sophisticated sensors, conducting high-resolution remote-sensing of the moon in visible, near infrared, low-energy and high energy x-ray regions and three dimensional atlas of the near and far sides of the moon were also accomplished.

"We have received excellent data from all the 11 instruments and the scientific community and the international agencies participating in the mission are very happy with the quality of the data," Satish claimed.
Source: IANS
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Reader's comments(50)
1: May the Chinese land on the moon ahead of US or any other country. Because they are used to do that like invading Tibet. Nobody can beat them in Tienanmen Square.
Posted by:Rajaguru - 05 Sep, 2009
China will land before 2020. India will not land at all due to the lower technological progress of Indian society. Indians cannot do spaceflight. We will have to take Indians as our labor force on the Moon once we establish our colonies there.
Xiamen Replied to: Rajaguru - 05 Sep, 2009
3: China will land on the moon ahead of US. The Moon belongs to China. If you Indians want to land on the MOON, come challenge us. I bet you will not have a manned space program even after another 50 years. Ha ha ha!
Posted by:Xiamen - 05 Sep, 2009
Both true Chinese and Indians have the same brain and brain reactions! I wonder what is this 'we' both are talking about?
Ved from Victoria Institutions Replied to: Xiamen - 05 Sep, 2009
u bugger ximan first ur name is s......... and u guy are just small in height and small in brain
gita Replied to: Xiamen - 05 Sep, 2009
6: The main reason why this may have failed is because, there seems to be many objectives for one mission. If they had taken one step at a time, it would have been a better success.
Posted by:Krishna - 31 Aug, 2009
7: Yes,we tried lot.And we got 90-95% result by Chandrayan-1.So we reached our mission with a few pitfall.Any way we did a greater job for our nation.I realise the problem of Chandrayan-1 failure...

I'm also a indian IT student...I feel more precious about this......

And i feel more painful about the power failure in Onboard-Computers....And the Redundant Computer also failed....It think it also solar powered....

Any wé will prove and correct the pitfalls in future Chandrayan..............

-----------We Rebuild India & ISRO-----------------
Posted by:kanagaraj - 31 Aug, 2009
As an electronics engineer, I suspect the problem lies with the battery, with the environment of lots of radiation rays, the battery may not functioning properly sometimes blasts. Normally the power system is combination of solar power and battery.
suchitav Replied to: kanagaraj - 31 Aug, 2009
9: Although the mission was terminate but I think all most all information regardin chanrayan I is achived leaving a little . Thnks to all of the members involvi from the project stage to completion state for their great job.
Posted by:Jyotirmay Katual - 31 Aug, 2009
10: Do not WASTE MONEY. Put it for development and eradication of other problems which are occuring in our planet(EARTH). Global Worming is much more important than lunar mission. Your information will not be of any work if mankind do not survive.
Posted by:pradyumna kumar gidhi - 31 Aug, 2009
sir, please have a detailed check into the lunar project missions....their missions are wholly or partly involved in the future developments of the mankind...for eg:testing the presence of helium which would be of immense importance for the future power projects and many more....Although aerospace and environmental sciences are related, i would like to add that your version to this project is not appreciable...
wazeem Replied to: pradyumna kumar gidhi - 02 Sep, 2009
12: Kaushik

I understand your feelings. but you should know one thing. Unless you try parallely in multiple lines there will be growth. Chandrayan was sent for some purpose to be achieved and it partially has done it too.

Will you be willing to sell your house or property to feed the poor and needy in our country. It is not practically possible. Everything has a purpose and our Government does it only with a goal which they may not reveal entirely. It could be for Geographical analysis, water resources, military, Studying life in Moon etc. and many more. So be appreciative of what ISRO had done and brought name to our country by bringing us into the Space Map along with the other countries. Feel proud of the achievement.
Posted by:Indian - 31 Aug, 2009
To add to this reasoning, if we do not put a foot forward today into the direction of new technologies that other countries are using or developing. We will become slave to those countries for - data of our natural resources, other satellite related information, important breakthroughs in materials technology etc, which may also have medical significance. So its better to show that we can do it ourselves and have the man power backed up by the working class in India. Remember the world wars? what was the point ?, to show who is powerful. Can one stop such a thinking? If India does not think that way, other countries do think and will do what ever it takes to prove it. We need to at least be able to stand with pride now and in future.
Durgesh B Kalya Replied to: Indian - 31 Aug, 2009
14: Sorry....I can't be that much proud.....I think such missions are senseless in a country where millions are starving.....I feel the government should invest more to first eradicate at least the problem of child labor before conquering the moon....Rs 380 crore was spent for Chandrayan 1 and all we have is 70 thousand photos of moon.....For Chandrayan 2 they are planning to spend another 500 crore to put a rover on the moon, may be to collect 70 kilos of moon rock (if it reaches the moon at all)...But how come we can be proud of all these...that amount of money, if donated to NGO s working all over the country, could have sponsored food, clothes, shelter and education for hundreds and thousands of underprivileged children.....Moon missions are wonderful but I think men are more important than the moon
Posted by:kaushik - 31 Aug, 2009
Mr.Koushik, I appreciate your humanity thoughts...but,just have a look into our govt's other prestigious projects and can find that the amount spend for aerospace is nothing related to some of them....this is not my point is that technological developments and international participations and relations are the major factors in international as well as domestic sustainability of a nation...if you get the point in such a version and also they have not only gone for collecting 70k photos(which are not at all a small thing),there are many other objectives and find outs which would directly or indirectly involve in future developments of not only our nation,but the whole be a part of such operations would make their accessibility much easier,cheap and result in economical profits also...just keep in mind that ours is a big country and our needs are huge...and now we can come to know how these missions would help us...
wazeem Replied to: kaushik - 02 Sep, 2009
The politicians and their beauracracy in our country have been like blackholes of all the Govt. money slated for great infrastructure and social change.
The only true catalyst that is bringing change currently is technology and the industry, economy following it.
Krishna Replied to: kaushik - 31 Aug, 2009
Joining of technological history is a big merit for the country.
I am proud to India who wants to become a strong country by means of exploration even though we are encountered crisis this time but still India wants to show the world that they are not beyond the technology.
In this exploration India is the no. 1 country in the world so go for it.
JLPausanos Replied to: kaushik - 31 Aug, 2009
18: I find my sincere query posted sometime back deleted. I am repeating. Did tricolour land on moon surface in a single piece? How it survived impact speed?
Posted by:SKB - 31 Aug, 2009
19: Chandrayaan-1 was a great success and it opens the doors for further moon exploration for India and we are confidant that Chandrayaan-2 will be fully successful.
Thanks ISRO and better luck next time.
Posted by:Sandeep - 31 Aug, 2009
Posted by:Niranjan Pradhan - 31 Aug, 2009
21: INDIA---- The power of intellegence
Posted by:Johny - 31 Aug, 2009
22: I found that a new box appearing saying that my comments will be kept aside for moderation. I don't think that I have used any profanity in this site, but has just spoken from another perspective, which usually the commentators in this site never give. As to the subject matter here, may I say that this is not a failure of the people living here, but of the self-serving bureaucracy. However, I dont think they have not been served, for at an individual level most of them have very selfish aims, which do not coincide with the needs of the people of this geographical area.
If this type of writing is not likeable here, I can very well say such words as
Well done, India
We are geniuses
We are a superpower
We are the most intelligent people on earth
They all have no meaning.
Anyone interested can read my post on chandrayaan-i dot com
Posted by:Ved from Victoria Institutions - 31 Aug, 2009
23: Failure is a stepping stone for success. In fact its not a total failure, ISRO has learnt many things from this launch. Cheer up ISRO, we can do it, whole India will support you. Every thing in this world gets succeeded atleast by facing one failure, for example when a child starts walking, in the first attempt when they fall they will get up with more enthusism to alk again, thats the spirit of success and i believe ISRO has that spirit.........................Congacts ISRO.............carry on........we all have confidence, defenitely ISRO will be able to do it in chandrayaan II, cheer up....
Posted by:Sruthi - 31 Aug, 2009
24: Failure is not crime not trying is crime... U did it ISRO we are proud of you. Its a great achievement. continue your good work We all know tax money was not gone wast!
Posted by:Santhosh - 31 Aug, 2009
25: Now mission is given up. Can anybody confirm if tricolour reached lunar surface in one piece? How did it survive the impact speed (in thousands of kilometer per hour) of lunar impact probe?
Posted by:SKB - 31 Aug, 2009
26: kudos to ISRO am proud to an INDIAN.
Not just for chandrayaan but for the indian space programme.
Its a great step forward.
Posted by:siddhartha - 31 Aug, 2009
27: Success and Failure is a Cyclic process, but with this kind of experiments we are challenging our capabilities to rest of the world, all Indian's hopes are in the hands of ISRO for the Chandrayan II.

We are all there to support ISRO in any way to make it success. We need many more Indian flags over the Entire space.

Best of luck to ISRO...

Posted by:suresh - 31 Aug, 2009
28: Congrats ISRO.It was a great effort. We need a success, for that we have to face some failures.India reached one step forward. proud to be an INDIAN
Posted by:Ganga - 31 Aug, 2009
29: Sincere thanks to all the team members of Chandraayan-I. Failure of the instant case, shall provide lot of information and data which shall be the avenue of success for Chandraayan-II.
Posted by:Tapan Ghosal - 31 Aug, 2009
30: ISRO scientists have done a very good job.Failure is just feedback . Must go whole hog again with " chaand tare tod laaun "
Posted by:Sanjay doshi - 31 Aug, 2009
31: Totally hopeless. We Indians can never be perfect but always have an excuse for our failures.
Posted by:Well - 31 Aug, 2009
that`s right .
B.Basu Replied to: Well - 31 Aug, 2009
We have started our real journey towards modern world from 1947, and just passed 62 years.
If you compare our development which other countries than this is not a real comparison with USA, Russia etc. because they gets many centuries to reach this stage.

We have not started the modern era, but definitely we will lead in future.
Jay Replied to: Well - 31 Aug, 2009
@Well, have a taken a look at list of NASA's failures? Do you know that the "Indians" you are calling are very few among the most intelligent Indians who preferred NASA rather than being in India... I call them anti-nationalist engineers... and ISRO engineers are far better than them.
Unwell Replied to: Well - 31 Aug, 2009
35: failure is a step of success..
Posted by:Guru - 31 Aug, 2009
36: After each Failure,there is Success
Posted by:manish - 30 Aug, 2009
37: Failures teach us many success ways. Cheer up ISRO. You can achieve even more.

Posted by:S.Gnanam - 30 Aug, 2009
ISRO is the famous space centre
prasanna Replied to: S.Gnanam - 31 Aug, 2009
39: history itself says... there are many failures for any achievement. apollo mission has so many episodes. we just started with one now... ISRO is no doubt rocks in future. congratulations...
Posted by:vicky - 30 Aug, 2009
40: Great Achievement. India has no dearth of talents and time and again it had proved that. Congrats ISRO. We are proud of you.We expect more of such achievements from ISRO.
Posted by:MOU MUKHERJEE-DAS - 30 Aug, 2009
41: Success is not permanent. The same is also true of failure
Posted by:Manoj - 30 Aug, 2009
42: Congrats ISRO
Posted by:Aghil N T - 30 Aug, 2009
43: Its really a achievement we can rely on...Now we can proudly say.....Hum ne Chand ko Chuuu lia... and soon the time will come and will say.. Humne Chand ko jammen pe le aye... Jai Hind....thx ISRO…we are proud of you
Posted by:Paul Shantanu - 30 Aug, 2009
44: Its really an enormous task by our ISRO. v must congratulate them. our ISRO team will show their excellence with corrections in Chandrayaan II. I proud to be an INDIAN
Posted by:A.RAMYACHANDRA - 30 Aug, 2009
45: Its a great achievement for India and ISRO. We have achieved what only few countries in world have. We surely will have a great success in the form of Chandrayaan II.
Posted by:Vikrant Shukla - 30 Aug, 2009
46: Proud to be an INDIAN
Posted by:Arvind - 30 Aug, 2009
47: Its a real milestone event and good to learn from failures, I wish Chandrayaan II a great success.
Posted by:Mohamed Ismail Khan - 30 Aug, 2009
48: Congratulations to the ISRO team, they have done a great job indeed. Even if the Chandrayaan could went to an abrupt end, this mission has put India much above and ahead over other countries.
Posted by:Raman - 30 Aug, 2009
ISRO scientists and all others who contributed the mission deserve the hearty congratulation and Appreciation ,they prooved them selves and made us proud ,
wishing a grand succes for Chandrayaan II,
Pravin Replied to: Raman - 30 Aug, 2009
Superb 100 Crore people are with you ISRO wish you al the best. This message from True Indian.

Chidambar Replied to: Pravin - 05 Sep, 2009