ISRO assures it has managed to complete 95 percent of the objectives assigned to it
After the ISRO lost contact with Chandrayaan, India's first lunar space probe, on Friday, the space agency has now announced that the mission has been declared closed.
The premature end to the originally envisioned 2 year mission came when the craft first reported issues related to its positioning. After being controlled with the help of Gyroscopes for over a month, the craft finally gave up and on Friday, lost all contact with the command center back in India. However, according to ISRO, the mission has already, in 300 odd days managed to complete 95 percent of the objectives assigned to it.
The Chandrayaan was launched on Oct. 22 last year aboard a PSLV C11 rocket and took over a week and half to reach the lunar orbit. Apart from being India's first lunar probe, it was also one of India's first truly "international" space missions with a number of space agencies including the NASA and the ESA providing payloads for the craft. The Chandrayaan has as many as 11 payloads from various countries. The mission was also quite frugal in terms of the money spent at just $82 million.
While it may have not lasted the two year period it was supposed to serve, it has no doubt given India the capability to launch crafts to heavenly bodies beyond the Earth's atmosphere. The launch of the Chandrayaan also generated a lot of interest as it happened at the same time when the world was celebrating 40 years of Neil Armstrong's first "Moonwalk". In the future, many countries have plans to send manned and unnamed crafts to the moon. These include U.S., China, India and South Korea. In fact, India is already working on the Chandrayaan 2, which is expected, to land on the moon sometime in 2013. That mission apart from having a lunar orbiter will send a lunar rover to the surface of the moon from where it can collect and analyze lunar soil and rock.
As for the Chandrayaan 1, the mission already has collected over 70,000 images all of which are being analyzed. The craft will take another 1,000 days and it will eventually crash on to the lunar surface after that. While the mission ending prematurely will remain a disappoint to many, it is pertinent to note that it did manage to accomplish 95 percent of the objectives assigned to it - besides, sending a craft to the moon is no cakewalk.