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Contact lost with Chandrayaan-1
Posted: Sat, Aug 29, 2009, 3:01 PM ET (1901 GMT)
Chandrayaan 1 illustration (ISRO) The Indian space agency ISRO reported Saturday that it has lost communications with its first lunar orbiter, raising the possibility of a failure that would end the mission. According to an ISRO statement, contact was "abruptly" lost with Chandrayaan-1 at 4:00 pm EDT Friday (2000 GMT Friday, 1:30 am Indian time Saturday); ground stations had received data from the spacecraft just an hour earlier. The cause of the communications failure isn't known, but some project officials told Indian media that it was unlikely that contact would be restored with the spacecraft. Chandrayaan-1 was launched last October as India's first mission beyond Earth orbit and was returning images and other data about the Moon; it was designed to operate for two years. Just over a week ago Chandrayaan-1 performed a joint bistatic radar experiment with NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft in a bid to look for water ice in the Moon's polar regions.
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