ISRO formally calls off India's first moon mission

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Panaji. Aug 31 (ANI): Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has formally called off Chandrayaan-1, India's first moon mission, after it lost contact with the craft. ink with the Chandrayaan-1 craft broke down early on Saturday.

Talking to reporters here on Sunday, ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said, "The net result is that the lunar has lost radio contact with the craft and we are not receiving any signal. So we had to terminate the mission with this sequence...we made all attempts but our attempts were not succeed."

Nair claimed that though the moon mission terminated much before its two-year lifetime it was a great success.

"About 95 percent of the objectives of the scientific experiments have been completed and we have more than 70,000 images of the moon, especially the most critical regions are in our custody," he added.

The 79-million dollar mission was launched amid national euphoria last October, putting India in the Asian space race alongside China.

A probe vehicle landed on the moon a month later and sent back images of the lunar surface.

But a critical sensor in the main craft, orbiting the moon, malfunctioned in July, raising fears that the two-year mission might have to be curtailed.

One of the mission's main aims was to look for Helium 3, an isotope which is very rare on earth but could be an energy source in the future in nuclear fusion.

ISRO has plans to send a manned mission to space in four years' time and eventually on to Mars. (ANI)

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