The first lunar spacecraft launched by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), the Chandrayaan-1, which was earlier considered lost, has now been found by the American space agency NASA. In a statement, NASA has said that the Indian lunar spacecraft is still orbiting the Moon. NASA utilized a new ground-based radar technique to locate the lost Chandrayaan-1.
It may be recalled that all communications with the lunar spacecraft were lost on August 29, 2009. This occurred almost a year after it was launched on October 22, 2008. At that time, ISRO had come to the conclusion that the spacecraft must have developed some malfunction and crashed into the Moon. However, the report published by NASA says that the spacecraft is still circling the Moon. The report says that the spacecraft is orbiting roughly 200 km above the surface of the Moon. The discovery of the lost spacecraft was made by scientists working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California.
The Chandrayaan-1 is a small spacecraft, shaped much like a cube, measuring 1.5 meters on each side. “We have been able to detect NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Indian Space Research Organization’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.