Chandrayaan-I: reason for mission failure revealed
Chandrayaan I Satellite
ISRO has until now denied allegations that the Chandrayaan-I mission that came to an abrupt end weeks before was not a failure. However, in recent developments ISRO has revealed that it was indeed a failure.
ISRO said that the moon orbiting satellite’s orbit was raised from 100 to 200km this May not because ISRO wanted a better view of the moon’s surface, as they had stated earlier, but because they miscalculated the moon’s temperature that led to the fabrication and installation of inappropriate thermal protection on board the satellite.
This was admitted by T K Alex, director, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore when he said they assumed the temperature 100km above the moon’s surface to be around 75 degrees when it was actually more than this. Hence they had to raise the orbit to 200km.
While problems mounted, ISRO were forced to deactivate most of the payloads aboard Chandrayaan. The project finally came to an abrupt end when the satellite lost all contact with the ground station on August 29. This was because the communication computers onboard were damaged by radiation as a result of inadequate shielding.
ISRO claims that 95% mission objectives have been accomplished so the uneventful termination of the mission was not in vein. They believe this was a learning experience and the Chandrayaan-II, which is the next installment of the mission slated for launch on 2013, shall incorporate better radiation and thermal shielding when compared to its predecessor.