collected by :Irin Lilly
referring to In pinpointing this spacecraft, NASA honed a technique for tracking errant spacecraft that’s likely to see action again soon.
ISRO lost contact with the orbiter in 2009, but NASA researchers have found it still orbiting the moon.
Twice within a four-hour span, the researchers picked up “something that had a radar signature of a small spacecraft:” India’s long-lost lunar orbiter.
And on Thursday, they got a second piece of good news: NASA researchers have found the probe continuing its silent orbit around the moon’s poles.
In this undated photo provided by the Indian Space Research Organization, Chandrayaan-1, India’s maiden lunar mission, is taken to the launch pad.
according to This method relies ground-based radar, because optical telescopes can’t see anything against the bright lunar glare.
However, the scientists were able to detect two different objects using the technique: one matched the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s well-known path.
Now that the scientists have proven that ground-based radars can be used to track probes in lunar orbit, NASA could use them for both robotic and human missions.
But they relied on the 330-foot Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to detect the radar echoes that bounced back.
The technique could also be used as a safety mechanism for spacecraft suffering from communication issues in the future.
NASA finds missing Indian spacecraft orbiting the moon –
according to The success of ground-based radar in locating small lunar craft indicates that such radar could be highly useful for future lunar missions.
NASA scientists also located NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which launched in 2009.
Gizmodo reports that the NASA team used ground-based radar to locate the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1, which has been orbiting the moon since it lost contact with ground control after a 10-month mission.
Chandrayaan-1 is only about five feet across in all directions, making the small craft especially difficult to locate.
The beams, sent from the 230-foot antenna at NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex, did encounter a small craft twice.