Brahmand NewsPrevious Article
Brahmand NewsNext Article
Headlines
  • Wreckage of missing Sukhoi-30 jet fighter found in Assam:-The wreckage of the IAF Sukhoi fighter jet that went missing with two crew members on board was found on Friday after three days of search operations....
  • MAST ASIA 2017:-MAST Asia 2017, Japan's only international 'Maritime/Air Systems & Technologies International Trade Show, Conference and Community Enabler' will be held in Makuhari Messe, Tokyo, Japan from 12th to 14th June, 2017....
  • US Navy's new Ford-class carrier sets sail for acceptance trials:-The Navy's next generation aircraft carrier, the nuclear-powered USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78), has departed the Naval Station Norfolk for acceptance trials, paving the way for the warship's commissioning into service later this year....
  • India-Singapore joint naval exercise SIMBEX 2017 concludes:-The Indian Navy and the Singapore Navy have concluded a week-long bilateral military exercise in the South China Sea, during which they conducted a series of advanced naval warfare drills, including air defence exercises and gunnery live-firings....

'Lost' Chandrayaan-1 found orbiting Moon: NASA

Article
Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print This Article

India's first lunar probe Chandrayaan-1 orbiting the Moon. An ISRO photo

WASHINGTON (PTI): India's first lunar probe – the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft – which was considered lost, is still orbiting the Moon, NASA scientists have found by using a new ground-based radar technique.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost communication with Chandrayaan-1 on August 29, 2009, almost a year after it was launched on October 22, 2008.

Now, scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California have successfully located the spacecraft still circling some 200 kilometres above the lunar surface.

"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," said Marina Brozovic, a radar scientist at JPL and principal investigator for the test project.

"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," said Brozovic.

The Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft is very small, a cube about 1.5 meters on each side – about half the size of a smart car.

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.

Chandrayaan-1 proved the perfect target for demonstrating the capability of this technique.

To find a spacecraft 380,000 kilometres away, JPL's team used NASA's 70-metre antenna at NASA's Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California to send out a powerful beam of microwaves directed towards the Moon.

Then the radar echoes bounced back from lunar orbit were received by the 100-meter Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.

Finding a derelict spacecraft at lunar distance that has not been tracked for years is tricky because the Moon is riddled with mascons (regions with higher-than-average gravitational pull) that can dramatically affect a spacecraft's orbit over time, and even cause it to have crashed into the Moon.

JPL's orbital calculations indicated that Chandrayaan-1 is still circling some 200 kilometres above the lunar surface, but it was generally considered "lost."

However, with Chandrayaan-1, the radar team utilised the fact that this spacecraft is in polar orbit around the Moon, so it would always cross above the lunar poles on each orbit.

On July 2 last year, the team pointed Goldstone and Green Bank at a location about 160 kilometres above the Moon's north pole and waited to see if the lost spacecraft crossed the radar beam.

Tags:

Chandrayaan  India  ISRO  NASA  Moon  Orbit  
Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print Article

Other Related News

Trump announces to develop state of the art missile system

Donald Trump, the 45th President of the US, has announced to end cut in military budget implemented by the previous Obama administration and said it would develop a state-of-the-art missile system, rebuild the military, and develop offensive cyber capabilities.

Upcoming Defence Exhibitions

BRAHMOS Missile Systems

Headlines

Brahmand World Defence Update 2017

Image Gallery