It is not uncommon for satellites (or probes) to get lost in space. The latter can destroy themselves, collide with the Earth or can sometimes be found. This is the case of Chandrayaan-1, whose mission was, among other things, to map the surface of the Moon and discovered by NASA.
Launched on October 22, 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the Chandrayaan-1 satellite was intended to test India’s technological capabilities in space and bring back scientific information concerning the surface of the Moon. . Mapping its surface, but also analyzing its mineralogical composition, studying the lunar crust to better understand its evolution and observing water ice in the polar regions were part of the program.
On August 29, 2009, less than a year later, radio contact with Chandrayaan-1 was completely lost and the next day, ISRO decided to end the mission. According to Indian engineers, the satellite would still have fulfilled its mission at authorship of 90 to 95%. Nevertheless, the problems encountered have made it possible to learn lessons in order to better prepare for the launch of Chandrayaan-2, scheduled for 2018.
On Thursday, March 9, 2017, NASA said it had found Chandrayaan-1 thanks to an unprecedented technique using three terrestrial antennas according to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). It turns out that the Indian satellite is still in orbit around the Moon, 200 kilometers away from it.
The device would be in a region in which radar and telescopic detection is made difficult by sunlight. However, this same region is mainly subject to variations in gravity, which affects the orbit of the devices and this is all the more true with regard to Chandrayaan-1 because of its reduced size.
The discovery of Chandrayaan-1 is a rather happy event since it is a symbol. Indeed, this lunar satellite is the very first to have been launched by a southern country.
Sources: Jet Propulsion Laboratory – The Indian Express – Le Bien Public