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India loses radio contact with moon orbiter

  • Story Highlights
  • Researchers blame system failures for losing contact with Chandrayaan-I
  • Officials admit "slim" chance to regain contact with moon orbiter
  • Orbiter was designed to take high-resolution images of moon's surface
By Harmeet Shah Singh
CNN
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NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Indian space scientists were scrambling Sunday to regain contact with their unmanned moon mission a day after they abruptly lost contact with the orbiter.

System failures on the Chandrayaan-I apparently led to loss of contact, said S. Satish, a spokesman for the Indian Space Research Organization.

The craft was equipped with what officials said were highly-sophisticated gadgets.

"We are trying to revive the contact, but chances are slim," Satish said.

The space organization had originally announced that Chandrayaan-I would stay in orbit for two years.

"That probably was a mistake because such craft do not have this much life," Satish said.

However, Chandrayaan-I had met most of its scientific objectives by providing "large volume of data," the space organization said. In 312 days, it completed more than 3,400 orbits around the moon, according to the space organization.

Chandrayaan-I aimed to take high-resolution, three-dimensional images of the lunar surface, especially the permanently-shadowed polar regions.

The craft carried payloads from the United States, the European Union and Bulgaria. One of its objectives was to search for evidence of water or ice and attempt to identify the chemical composition of certain lunar rocks.

Earlier this year, the Indian government increased the federal budget for space research to about $1 billion from $700 million.

All About IndiaUnmanned Space Exploration

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