There’s an interesting piece in the Huffington Post by Pinaki Bhattacharya about how the recent announcement about lunar water helped to restore ISRO’s damaged reputation:
For weeks before this, ISRO was being pilloried for the failure and eventual abandonment of the Chandrayaan 1. On 29 August. 2009 the Indian Deep Space Network in Byalalu near Bangalore, lost total contact with Chandrayaan 1. The end was not sudden, nor unexpected. The final failure was a culmination of a number of technical glitches that started to surface soon after the launch of the lunar vehicle.
In November 2008, barely after a month of its launch the spacecraft’s power systems started to fail one by one and ISRO was compelled to deactivate some of its payloads. In April this year the Star Sensor, a key component, stopped functioning due to intense solar radiation. And in the next month, the backup sensor also failed, thus plunging ISRO into a sense of imminent doom….
Not many believed ISRO when its authorities declared that the spacecraft, Chandrayaan 1 had accomplished “90 per cent of its tasks.” The scientific commentators of the country were quick to charge the space organization with lying to the country about its impending failure and gross incompetence. This week ISRO pulled back from the brink one more time.
It did – for a time. However, I’m eager to see what the investigation into Chandrayaan-1′s failure reveals, how candid ISRO will be with the results, and whether there will be any changes in the agency’s public relations strategy moving forward.
Read the full story.