Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chandrayaan - 1 lifts of Successfully - A Proud Moment

Its a great day in the history of India, its first unmanned spacecraft to moon lifts off to space sucessfully from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. Another indigenous production from ISRO.
Key points to note..
  • An Indian-built launcher carrying the one-and-a-half-tonne satellite blasted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, an island off the coast of Andhra Pradesh, at about 0620 local time (0050 GMT).
  • One key objective will be to search for surface or sub-surface water-ice on the Moon, especially at the poles.
  • Another will be to detect Helium 3, an isotope which is rare on Earth, but is sought to power nuclear fusion and could be a valuable source of energy in future.
  • Chandrayaan (the Sanskrit word for 'moon craft') will also investigate the differences between the Moon's near side and its far side. The far side is both more heavily cratered and different in composition to the one facing Earth.

Few pictures (extracted from
1 - Chandrayaan Energetic Neutral Analyzer (CENA)
2 - Moon Impact Probe (MIP)
3 - Radiation Dose Monitor (RADOM)
4 - Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC)
5 - Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3)
6 - Chandrayaan 1 X-ray Spectrometer (C1XS)
7 - Solar Panel

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket will loft Chandrayaan into an elliptical "transfer orbit" around Earth.
The probe will later carry out a series of engine burns to set it on a lunar trajectory.
The spacecraft coasts for about five-and-a-half days before firing the engine to slow its velocity such that it is captured by the Moon's gravity.
Chandrayaan will slip into a near-circular orbit at an altitude of 1,000km. After a number of health checks, the probe will drop its altitude until it is orbiting just 100km above the lunar surface.

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