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NASA Found Lost Lunar Spacecraft Through Newly Developed Radar Technique

First Posted: Mar 12, 2017 10:26 PM EDT
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Chandrayaan1 Spacecraft Discovery Moon Water

Photo : Photo by: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Brown Univ.

Searching for a lost lunar spacecraft, derelict spacecraft and even space debris in the Earth's orbit are considered as a technological challenge to NASA astronomers. Detecting such objects which could be found in orbit around the Earth's moon is difficult to do. The optical telescopes that astronomers use are unable to search for small objects or lost lunar spacecraft which are hidden in the bright glare of the moon.

However, the technological breakthrough does not end there. According to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, there is a new technical application of interplanetary radar which was pioneered by the scientists of NASA that have the ability to locate lost lunar spacecraft orbiting the moon.

The newly developed application could assist planners and scientists for their future moon missions, particularly when searching for the lost lunar spacecraft. Marina Brozovic, NASA's radar scientists said the new technique could detect NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

Finding the NASA's LRO was a little easy with the use of the new technology. Searching for India's Chandrayaan-1 or the lost lunar spacecraft, on the other hand, requires a more detective work because it made its last contact with the spacecraft on 2009.

In the recent years, the interplanetary radar has been a tool used to locate small asteroids or any lost lunar spacecraft that are a million miles away from the Earth.The Chandrayaan-1 has proved the perfect target for the capability of newly discovered technique.

According to WBATV, not all radar transmitters are created equal. The ordinary police radar gun contains an operational range of one mile with air traffic control radar that goes 60 miles in finding the lost lunar spacecraft.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) used NASA's 70-meter which is equivalent to the 230-foot antenna to find the lost lunar spacecraft which is 237,000 miles or 380,000 kilometers away from the Earth. The antenna can send a powerful beam of microwaves directly to the moon.

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