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Bangalore: Curtains came down on the most spectacular foray of Indian space exploration, as the maiden moon mission, Chandrayaan-1, abruptly lost radio contact with the ground station on Saturday morning.


"Radio contact with Chandrayaan-I spacecraft was abruptly lost at 0130 Hrs (IST) on August 29, 2009. Deep Space Network at Byalalu near Bangalore received the data from Chandrayaan-I during the previous orbit up to 0025 Hrs (IST)", says the press release issued by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).


Confirming that the mission is over due to loss of contacts with the spacecraft Project Director of the Chandrayaan-1 mission M Annadurai, however, said, "Chandrayaan-1 has accomplished 100 percent of its job technically. Scientifically too, it has done almost 90-95 percent of its job."


Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has ordered for a detailed review of the data received by the spacecraft, "Detailed review of the Telemetry data received from the spacecraft is in progress and health of the spacecraft subsystems is being analysed," said Annadurai.


Though ISRO officials maintained that the radio contact was lost on Saturday morning it is said that the data from the spacecraft had stopped coming in as early as Thursday.  “All the three ground stations, DSN at Byalalu, Jet Propulsion Labs and Applied Physics Labs in the US, stopped receiving signals on Thursday,” Deccan Herald has quoted its sources working on the project as saying.


Earlier, on July 17, the flamboyant moon mission Chandrayaan-I, had lost a major sensor. The scientific community then feared the premature end of the spacecraft.


The Chandrayaan-I, which was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh in October 2008, has completed over 350 days in orbit making more than 3400 orbits around the Moon and providing large volume of data from sophisticated sensors.


The spacecraft was equipped with Terrain Mapping Camera, Hyper-spectral Imager, Moon Mineralogy Mapper etc.,


The ISRO scientists expressed confidence of attaining most of the scientific objectives of the mission.


Addressing the Ninth convocation of the International Institute of Information and Technology at Bangalore last month, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman G. Madhavan Nair had said the tracking and detection of several factors by Chandrayaan are important steps in mapping the mineralogical composition of moon's surface, which in turn would enable further study in its origin and evolution.


"I think I am happy to say that Chandrayaan has been completely successful in collecting all the data what we wanted. First was the three dimensional of the lunar surface, also getting the mineral content of the surface and then trying to use the extra instruments," said Nair.


"All this went on very well and we are more or less very happy that the mission is complete," he added.


Nair also added that the second moon mission would be launched by 2012.






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