Chandrayaan-I was ‘killed’ by heat stroke
The Times of India
The reasons for early termination of the Chandrayaan-I mission are now tumbling out and they reveal that ISRO had kept the Moon orbiter’s problems tightly under wraps.
Contrary to the space agency’s explanation that Chandrayaan’s orbit around the Moon had been raised from 100km to 200km in May this year for a better view of the Moon’s surface, it is now known that this was because of a miscalculation of the Moon’s temperature that had led to faulty thermal protection.
Admitting this, Dr T K Alex, director, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore, said, â€œWe assumed that the temperature at 100km above the Moon’s surface would be around 75 degrees Celsius. However, it was more than 75 degrees and problems started to surface. We had to raise the orbit to 200km.”
On May 19, however, ISRO said it had raised Chandrayaan’s orbit to “enable further studies on orbit perturbations, gravitational field variation of the Moon and also enable imaging of the lunar surface with a wider swath”.
It now transpires that heating problems on the craft had begun as early as November 25, 2008, forcing ISRO to deactivate some of the payloads â€” there were 11 in all.
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