India’s first lunar mission the Chandrayaan-1 — a spacecraft, which was generally considered lost — is still orbiting the moon. Recently, the NASA scientists have found the Chandrayaan-1 with new technological application of interplanetary radar.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost communication with Chandrayaan-1 on August 29, 2009, less than a year after it was launched on October 22, 2008.
According to the NASA scientists, Chandrayaan-1 is still circling about 200 kilometers above the lunar surface.
In addition to finding Chandrayaan-1, the scientists also located NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter around the Moon.
Related information 1: Chandrayaan Mission
Chandrayaan was India’s first lunar probe. It was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation in October 2008, and operated until August 2009. The mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor. Chandrayaan was launched using a PSLV-XL rocket.
The vehicle was successfully inserted into lunar orbit on 8 November 2008. On 14 November 2008, the Moon Impact Probe separated from the Chandrayaan orbiter and struck the south pole in a controlled manner, making India the fourth country to place its flag on the Moon.
After almost a year, the orbiter started suffering from several technical issues.
Chandrayaan stopped sending radio signals on 28 August 2009, shortly after which the ISRO officially declared the mission over.
Chandrayaan operated for 312 days as opposed to the intended two years but the mission achieved 95% of its planned objectives.
The mission was a major boost to India’s space program, as India researched and developed its own technology in order to explore the Moon.