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No longer lost in space: How NASA found this missing Indian spacecraft

MARCH 11, 2017 —For a space program that’s made impressive strides in recent years, the early death of Chandrayaan-1 likely came as a disappointment. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) expected this lunar orbiter – the country’s first – to last for two years when it launched in 2008. But on Aug. 29, 2009, just 312 days into its mission, contact with the probe was lost.

Even so, scientists could console themselves with the knowledge that they had completed 95 percent of the mission’s primary science goals, according to The Indian Express. 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.

“Chandrayaan-1 was our first interplanetary mission and I am delighted that it has been found," former ISRO chair Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan told The Times of India.

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