Ten months after it was launched, India's first moon mission came to an abrupt end after scientists lost communication with the orbiting spacecraft "Chandrayaan I".

The lunar satellite is presumed dead and the mission has been declared closed.   

Launched in October 2008, the mission was not even half-way through its intended two-year-plan.
 
However, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said it managed to complete 95 per cent of its objectives, returning over 70,000 images plus other vital data.
 
And while ISRO is trying to figure out what went wrong, plans for a second version named "Chandrayaan II" are already underway.

But it has been criticised to be a waste of resources in a country where millions still lack basic services. 

About 40 years after humankind's first steps on the moon, what has been achieved so far, and what is the future of space exploration?

Inside Story presenter Sohail Rahman is joined by Satyen Mohapatra, a correspondent at the Hindustan Times, Scott Pace, a former NASA official and current director of the Space Policy Institute at the George Washington University, and Ian O'Neill, a producer at Discovery News.
 
This episode of Inside Story aired from Monday, August 31, 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera