At a news conference in western India, G. Madhavan Nair, the head of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), pronounced the mission of India’s first satellite to be a “success,” even though his agency lost contact with the Chandrayaan-I late last week.
He added that 95 percent of the mission’s objectives were complete, and that the satellite snapped 70,000 photos of the moon’s surface. The satellite had been slated to be operational for around two years and is now expected to crash into the moon’s surface. The mission lasted only 315 days.
However, ISRO, which is based in Bangalore, says it will learn from this experience and is now working on landing an unmanned moon rover by 2012 as well as launching further satellites to study Mars and Venus. India is also planning a manned space flight by 2020.
The agency has also announced that the design for Chandrayaan-2 has been completed, although no launch date has been slated.