Organization Mission type Satellite of Orbital insertion date Launch date Mission duration Mass

Indian Space Research Organisation Orbiter Moon 12 November 2008 22 October 2008 from Sriharikota, India 2 years 523 kg (1,153 lb)

The moon with the history of the early solar system etched on its beckons mankind from time immemorial to admire its marvels and discover its secrets. Understanding the moon provides a pathway to unravel the early evolution of the solar system and that of the planet earth. Though the ages, the Moon, our closest celestial body has roused curiousty in our mind much more than any other objects in the sky.

Chandrayaan-1, (Sanskrit: चंदयान-१, Moon-vehicle) is India's first mission to the moon, launched by India's national space agency the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The unmanned lunar exploration mission includes a lunar orbiter and an impactor. The spacecraft was launched by a modified version of the PSLV XL on 22 October 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh at 06:23 IST (00:52 UTC). The vehicle was successfully inserted into lunar orbit on 8 November 2008. The Moon Impact Probe was successfully impacted at the lunar South Pole at 20:31 hours on 14 November 2008. The estimated cost for the project is Rs. 386 crore (US$ 80 million).

The remote sensing satellite had a mass of 1,380 kilograms (3,042 lb) at launch and 675 kilograms (1,488 lb) at lunar orbit and carries high resolution remote sensing equipment for visible, near infrared, and soft and hard X-ray frequencies. Over a two-year period, it is intended to survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and 3dimensional topography. The Polar Regions are of special interest, as they might contain ice. The lunar mission carries five ISRO payloads and six payloads from other international space agencies including NASA, ESA, and the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency, which were carried free of cost.

On course of launch
BANGALORE: The sticker on the threshold just says, “Spacecraft checkout No.4.” As we entered the mezzanine-like floor on Monday and looked below, the gorgeous looking Chandrayaan-1, enveloped in golden yellow insulation foil, came into view. It was in the dirt-free “clean room” of the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore, and men dressed in white overalls, were fussing over it and conducting checks. It had passed a battery of tests in the space simulation chamber (SSC), where it was subjected to extremes of hot and cold temperatures. Tests that unfolded its solar panel, as if were an accordion, and for pointing its antenna were equally successful. It will now face vibration and noise tests. Things are moving ahead for the launch of Chandrayaan-1, India’s first spacecraft to the moon, before the end of October from Sriharikota by a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle called PSLV-XL. Chandrayaan-1 will carry 11 instruments, five from India and six from abroad. They will map the minerals and chemicals on the lunar soil and also provide clues to the moon’s origin. ISAC Director T.K. Alex called it “a complicated mission” because “for the first time, we are sending a spacecraft beyond the earth’s orbit” (that is, it will orbit the moon). The moon is nearly four lakh km away and the

spacecraft has to be manoeuvred precisely in stages to reach the moon’s orbit. After all the 11 instruments were successfully integrated into Chandrayaan1, it underwent thermo-vacuum tests in the special facility SSC. The spacecraft was subjected to 120 degrees Celsius and minus 150 degrees Celsius in the chamber. “It was tested in varying temperatures for almost 20 days. The performance of the spacecraft and its instruments were thoroughly checked and we found that they were all working well,” said Dr. Alex. M. Annadurai, Project Director, Chandrayaan-1, asserted that there were “no issues’ when the spacecraft went through thermo-vacuum tests, including “soak and shock tests.” During the “soak” tests, it was subjected to high temperatures for long durations. In “shock” tests, it alternately went through high and very low temperatures in quick succession. “During these tests also, we found that there was no issue and all the systems were working well,” Mr. Annadurai said. He called the SSC a big contraption that “looks like a well.” It is four metres in diameter and seven metres in depth. It has a big lid. Chandrayaan-1 is now getting ready for the vibration and acoustic tests from September 20. It will be placed on a shake-table. Mr. Annadurai said: “We will generate the vibrations that the spacecraft will undergo when it is launched by the PSLV. Then we move on to the acoustic chamber, where we generate noise similar to that made by the PSLV engines. The spacecraft has to withstand that also.” While an aircraft engine produced 145 decibels of noise, the PSLV engines produced 150 decibels, Dr. Alex explained. “We are on course for transporting Chandrayaan-1 to Sriharikota by the end of this month (September),” Mr. Annadurai said.

The stated scientific objectives of the mission are:
• •

To design, develop and launch and orbit a spacecraft around the Moon using Indian made launch vehicle. Conduct scientific experiments using instruments on-board the spacecraft which will yield the following results: o To prepare a three-dimensional atlas (with high spatial and altitude resolution of 5-10 m) of both the near and far side of the moon. o To conduct chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface at high spatial resolution, mapping particularly the chemical elements Magnesium, Aluminum, Silicon, Calcium, Iron, Titanium, Radon, Uranium, & Thorium. o To impact a sub-satellite (Moon Impact Probe — MIP) on the surface on the Moon as a fore-runner to future soft landing missions.


After full integration, the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft (left) is seen being loaded into the Thermovac Chamber (right) Mass 1380 kg at launch, 675 kg at lunar orbit, and 523 kg after releasing the impactor. Dimensions Cuboid in shape of approximately 1.5 m Communications X band, 0.7 m diameter parabolic antenna for payload data transmission. The Telemetry, Tracking & Command (TTC) communication operates in S band frequency. Power The spacecraft is mainly powered by its solar array, which includes one solar panel covering a total area of 2.15 x 1.8 m generating 700 W of power, which is stored in a 36 A·h Lithium-ion battery. The spacecraft uses a bipropellant integrated propulsion system to reach lunar orbit as well as orbit and altitude maintenance while orbiting the Moon.

Specific areas of study

• • • •

• • •

High-resolution mineralogical and chemical imaging of the permanently shadowed north and south polar regions. Search for surface or sub-surface water-ice on the Moon, especially at the lunar poles. Identification of chemicals in lunar highland rocks. Chemical stratigraphy of lunar crust by remote sensing of the central uplands of large lunar craters, and of the South Pole Aitken Region (SPAR), where interior material may be expected. To map the height variation of the lunar surface features. Observation of X-ray spectrum greater than 10 keV and stereographic coverage of most of the Moon's surface with 5 m resolution To provide new insights in understanding the Moon's origin and evolution.


Chandrayaan 1 The scientific payload has a total mass of 90 kg and contains five Indian instruments and six foreign instruments.


TMC or the Terrain Mapping Camera is a CCD camera with 5 m resolution and a 40 km swath in the panchromatic band and will be used to produce a high-resolution map of the Moon. The aim of this instrument is to completely map the topography of the moon. The camera works in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum and captures black and white stereo images. When used in conjunction

with data from Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI), it can help in better understanding of the lunar gravitational field as well. TMC was built by the ISRO's Space Applications Centre (SAC) at Ahmedabad. The TMC was successfully tested on 29 October 2008 through a set of commands issued from ISTRAC.

HySI or Hyper Spectral Imager will perform mineralogical mapping in the 400-900 nm band with a spectral resolution of 15 nm and a spatial resolution of 80 m. LLRI or Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument will determine the surface topography. C1XS or X-ray fluorescence spectrometer covering 1- 10 keV, will map the abundance of Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, and Fe at the surface with a ground resolution of 25 km, and will detect solar flux. This payload is collaboration between Rutherford Appleton laboratory, U.K, ESA and ISRO. HEX is a High Energy X-ray/gamma ray spectrometer for 30 – 200 keV measurements with ground resolution of 40 km, the HEX will measure U, Th, Pb, Rn degassing, and other radioactive elements MIP or the Moon Impact Probe developed by the ISRO is an impact probe which was ejected at 20:00 hours IST on 14 November, 2008. The Moon Impact Probe successfully crash landed at the lunar South Pole at 20:31 hours IST on 14 November, 2008. It carried with it a picture of the Indian flag. India is now the fourth nation to place a flag on the Moon after the Soviet Union, United States and Japan.[18]


SARA, the Sub-keV Atom Reflecting Analyser from the ESA will map composition using low energy neutral atoms sputtered from the surface. M3, the Moon Mineralogy Mapper from Brown University and JPL (funded by NASA) is an imaging spectrometer designed to map the surface mineral composition.

SIR-2, A near infrared spectrometer from ESA, built at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Polish Academy of Science and University of Bergen, will also map the mineral composition using an infrared grating spectrometer. The instrument will be similar to that of the Smart-1 SIR. MiniSAR, designed, built and tested for NASA by a large team that includes the Naval Air Warfare Center, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman; it is the active SAR system to search for lunar polar ice. The instrument will transmit right polarised radiation with a frequency of 2.5 GHz and will monitor the scattered left and right polarised radiation. The Fresnel reflectivity and the circular polarisation ratio (CPR) are the key parameters deduced from these measurements. Ice shows the Coherent Backscatter Opposition Effect which results in an enhancement of reflections and CPR, so that water content of the Moon polar region can be estimated. RADOM-7, Radiation Dose Monitor Experiment from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences maps the radiation environment around the Moon.

Space flight

Chandrayaan-1 flight Chandrayaan-1 was launched on 22 October 2008 at 6.22 am IST from Satish Dhawan Space Centre using ISRO's 44.4 metre tall four-stage PSLV launch rocket, and it took 21 days to reach final lunar orbit. ISRO's telemetry, tracking and command network (ISTRAC) at Peenya in Bangalore, will track and control Chandrayaan-1 over the next two years of its life span.

First orbit burn
The first orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was performed at 09:00 hrs IST on 23 October 2008 when the spacecraft’s 440 Newton Liquid Engine was fired for about 18 minutes by commanding the spacecraft from Spacecraft Control Centre (SCC) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Peenya, Bangalore. With this Chandrayaan-1’s apogee was raised to 37,900 km, and its perigee to 305 km. In this orbit, Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft took about 11 hours to go round the Earth once.

Second orbit burn
The second orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was carried out on 25 October 2008 at 05:48 IST when the spacecraft’s engine was fired for about 16 minutes, raising its apogee to 74,715 km, and its perigee to 336 km, thus completing 20 percent of its journey. In this orbit, Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft took about twenty-five and a half hours to go round the Earth once. This is the first time an Indian spacecraft has gone beyond the 36,000 km high geostationary orbit and reached an altitude more than twice that height.

Third orbit burn
The third orbit raising manoeuvre was initiated on 26 October 2008 at 07:08 IST when the spacecraft’s engine was fired for about nine and a half minutes. With this its apogee was raised to 164,600 km, and the perigee to 348 km. In this orbit, Chandrayaan-1 took about 73 hours to go round the Earth once.

Fourth orbit burn
The fourth orbit raising manoeuvre was carried out on 29 October 2008 at 07:38 IST when the spacecraft’s engine was fired for about three minutes, raising its apogee to 267,000 km and the perigee to 465 km. This extended its orbit to a distance more than half the way to moon. In this orbit, the spacecraft took about six days to go round the Earth once.[30]

Operation of TMC
The Terrain Mapping camera (TMC) on board Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was successfully operated on 29 October 2008 through a series of commands issued from the Spacecraft Control Centre of the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore.[16] The second image showing Australia’s Southern Coast and taken from 70,000 km, was erroneously flipped horizontally when issued to the press.[31]

Final orbit burn
The fifth and final orbit raising manoeuvre was carried out on 4 November 2008 04:56 am IST when the spacecraft’s engine was fired for about two and a half minutes resulting in Chandrayaan-1 entering the Lunar Transfer Trajectory with an apogee of about 380,000 km. Lunar orbit insertion Chandrayaan-1 successfully completed the lunar orbit insertion operation on 8th Nov 2008 at 16:51 IST. This manoeuvre involved firing of the liquid engine for 817 seconds (about thirteen and half minutes) when the spacecraft passed within 500 km from the moon. The satellite was placed in an elliptical orbit that passed over the polar regions of the moon, with 7502 km aposelene (point farthest away from the moon) and 504 km periselene (nearest to the moon). The orbital period was estimated to be around 11 hours. With the successful completion of this operation, India became the fifth nation to put a vehicle in lunar orbit.[6]

First Lunar Orbit Reduction
First Lunar Orbit Reduction Manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 was carried out successfully on 9 November 2008 at 20:03 IST. During this, the engine of the spacecraft was fired for about 57 seconds. This reduced the periselene from 504 km to 200 km while aposelene remained unchanged at 7,502 km. In this elliptical orbit, Chandrayaan-1 took about ten and a half hours to circle the moon once.

Second Lunar Orbit Reduction

This manoeuvre, which resulted in steep decrease in Chandrayaan-1’s aposelene from 7,502 km to 255 km and its periselene from 200 km to 187 km, was carried out on 10 November 2008 at 21:58 IST. During this manoeuvre, the engine was fired for about 866 seconds (about fourteen and half minutes). Chandrayaan-1 took two hours and 16 minutes to go round the Moon once in this orbit.

Third Lunar Orbit Reduction
Third Lunar Orbit Reduction was carried out by firing the on board engine for 31 seconds on 11 November 2008 at 18:30 IST. This reduced the periselene from 187 km to 101 km, while the aposelene remained constant at 255 km. In this orbit Chandrayaan-1 took two hours and 9 minutes to go round the Moon once.

Final Lunar Orbit
Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was successfully placed into a mission specific lunar orbit of 100 km above the lunar surface on 12 November 2008. In the final orbit reduction manoeuvre, Chandrayaan-1’s aposelene was reduced from 255 km to 100 km while the periselene was reduced from 101 km to 100 km. In this orbit, Chandrayaan-1 takes about two hours to go round the moon once. Two of the 11 payloads – the Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) and the Radiation Dose Monitor (RADOM) – have already been successfully switched ON. The TMC has successfully taken pictures of both the Earth and the moon.

Injection of MIP on Lunar Surface
Moon Impact Probe (MIP) landed on the lunar surface on 14 November 2008, 20:31 IST on the South Pole. The MIP is one of eleven scientific instruments (payloads) onboard Chandrayaan-1. The MIP separated from Chandrayaan at 100 km from lunar surface and began its nosedive at 20:06 going into a free fall for thirty minutes. As it fell, it kept sending information back to the mother satellite which, in turn, beamed the information back to earth. The altimeter then also began

recording measurements to prepare for a rover to land on the lunar surface during a second moon mission planned for 2012. When the MIP was closer to the surface, rockets were fired to slow down its speed and to soften impact. Following the successful deployment of MIP, the other scientific instruments will be turned on one-by-one starting the next phase of the two-year mission.

Upon becoming the fourth country to plant a flag on the moon, the Chandrayaan led to national euphoria in India with leaders coming out in praise of the country and the scientists behind the mission. Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam said the landing was "a gift to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru" because the landing happened on the latter's 119th birth anniversary. He added that, "The success of Chandrayaan-1 is result of [a] team effort. This is the reason for which every Indian should feel proud." Continuing that "India is not far from becoming a super power and its greatest asset, the youth, will lead it to the path of glory." ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair said, "We had promised the country that we will deliver the moon and we have done it...India has successfully hoisted the national flag on the moon. It is a proud achievement." Additionally, serving Indian president Pratibha Patil, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, and leader of the opposition L.K. Advani also commended the team for the landing.

The scientists considered instrumental to the success of the Chandrayaan-1 project are:
• • •

G. Madhavan Nair – Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation T. K. Alex – Director, ISAC (ISRO Satellite Centre) Mylswamy Annadurai – Project director

• • • • • •

S. K. Shivkumar – Director - Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network. George Koshi –Mission Director Srinivasa Hegde – Mission Director M Y S Prasad – Associate Director of the Sriharikota Complex and Range Operations Director J N Goswami – Director of Ahmedabad-based Physical Research Laboratory and Principal Scientific Investigator of Chandrayaan-1 Narendra Bhandari – Head, ISRO`s Planetary Sciences and Exploration program

Chandrayaan-1 enters lunar orbit successfully After two weeks of journey India's first unmanned lunar spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 entered the lunar orbit on Saturday (Nov. 08, 2008) evening. It started at 16:50 hrs IST and within 14 minutes, it the entered lunar orbit. It is now 504 km from Moon. ISRO says the most critical operation is successful. With this development, India's moon mission has been declared successful. When Chandrayaan-1 planned to be launched in 2008 using spacecraft and launch vehicle of ISRO. The mission is expected to have an operational life of about 2 years. The idea of undertaking an Indian scientific mission to Moon was initially mooted in a meeting of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1999 that was followed up by discussions in the Astronautical Society of India in 2000. Based on the recommendations made by the learned members of these forums, a National Lunar Mission Task Force was constituted by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Leading Indian scientists and technologists participated in the deliberations of the Task Force that provided an assessment on the feasibility of an Indian Mission to the Moon as well as dwelt on the focus of such a mission and its possible configuration.

Government of India approved ISRO's proposal for Chandrayaan-1 in November 2003. Chandrayaan will be ready to launch in between October 19 and October 28. Why Why India want to go to moon? ISRO said it would spur the Indian scientific community and probe the physical characteristics of the lunar surface in greater depth than previous missions by other nations. It will explore its minerals, map the terrain and find out whether water and helium deposits exist. It will also give us a deeper understanding about the planet Earth itself or its origins, Earlier missions did not come out with a full understanding of the moon and that is the reason scientists are still interested. This will lay the foundation for bigger missions and also open up new possibilities of international networking and support for planetary programmes. Chandrayaan-1 had triggered a small debate within India about its necessity. Critics are saying it is outdated and the organization was wasting its money from a limited budget allotted by the government. India should not undertake the mission but instead restrict its space programmes to satellite launches and use its funds for social welfare. How Lunar Craft would be launched using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from .The Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) is located in Sriharikota. LunarCraft would weight 1304 kg at launch and 590 kg at lunar orbit. The LunarCraft would be launched in a highly elliptical transfer orbit with perigee (Perigee is the point at which an object in orbit around the Earth makes its closest approach to the Earth) of about 240 km and an apogee (The point in the orbit of the moon or of an artificial satellite most distant from the center of the earth) of about 24,000 km.

After a quick estimate of the achieved LTT (Lunar Transfer Trajectory) a mid-course correction will be imparted at the earliest opportunity. The spacecraft coasts for about five and a half days in this trajectory prior to the lunar encounter. The major maneuver of the mission, called Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) that leads to lunar capture, would be carried out at the periselene (nearest point in lunar orbit) leading to successful lunar capture in a polar, near circular 1000 km-altitude orbit. After successful capture and health checks, the altitude is planned to be lowered through a series of in-plane corrections to achieve the target altitude of 100 km circular polar orbit

Mission Objectives Carry out high resolution mapping of topographic features in 3D, distribution of various minerals and elemental chemical species including radioactive nuclides covering the entire lunar surface using a set of remote sensing payloads. The new set of data would help in unraveling mysteries about the origin and evolution of solar system in general and that of the moon in particular. Realize the mission goal of harnessing the science payloads, lunar craft and the launch vehicle with suitable ground support system including DSN station, integration and testing, launching and achieving lunar orbit of ~100 km, in-orbit operation of experiments, communication/telecomm and, telemetry data reception, quick look data and archival for scientific utilization by identified group of scientists.

Launch Centre

Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) Sriharikota The Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) is located in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh India.

SDSC is mostly referred to as Sriharikota. This is the launch centre for ISRO. The centre is 80 kilometers north of Chennai in South India. It was originally called Sriharikota Range (SHAR) and renamed to its present name in 2002 after the death of ISRO's former chairman Satish Dhawan. The centre became operational in October 1971 when three Rohini rockets were launched. The SHAR facility now consists of two launch pads, with the second built recently. The second launch pad was used for launches beginning in 2005 and is a universal launch pad, accommodating all of the launch vehicles used by ISRO. The two launch pads will allow multiple launches in a single year, which was not possible earlier Launch Vehicle

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) built its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in the early 90s. The 45 m tall PSLV with a lift-off mass of 295 tonne, had its maiden success on October 15, 1994 when it launched India's IRSP2 remote sensing satellite into a Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) of 820 km. Between 1996 and 2005, it has launched six more Indian Remote Sensing satellites as well as HAMSAT, a micro satellite built by ISRO for amateur radio communications into polar SSOs, one Indian meteorological satellite into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO)., PSLV has also launched four satellites from abroad (TUBSAT and DLR-Bird from Germany, Proba from Belgium and KITSAT from Republic of Korea) as piggyback payloads into polar SSOs. PSLV has emerged as ISRO's workhorse launch vehicle and proved its reliability and versatility by scoring eight consecutive successes between 1994-2005 periods in launching multiple payloads to both SSO as well as GTO.

On January 10, 2007, the PSLV-C7 carried four satellites - the 680 kg Indian remote sensing satellite CARTOSAT-2, the 550 kg Space Capsule Recovery Equipment (SRE-1), Indonesia's LAPAN-TUBSAT (60kg) and Argentina's 6kg nanosatellite called NANO PEHUENSAT-1 into orbit.

Ground Control Ground Segment for Chandrayaan-1 comprises three major elements viz. Deep Space Station (DSN), Spacecraft Control Center (SCC) and Indian Space Science Data Center (ISSDC).

This trio of ground facility ensures the success of the mission by providing to and fro conduit of communication, securing good health of the spacecraft, maintaining the orbit and attitude to the requirements of the mission and conducting payload operations. The ground segment is also responsible for making the science data available for the Technologists / Scientists along with auxiliary information, in addition to storage of payload and spacecraft data.

Perfect start, Chandrayaan-1 ready for next step After a historic launch and a successful injection into the transfer orbit, India’s first unmanned moon mission Chandrayaan-1 is ready for the next big task. Chandrayaan-1 has to get into the orbit around the moon where it will revolve for two years before returning back to the earth. The moon space craft was put into transfer orbit around the earth by the

Polar Launch Vehicle PSLV-C11 after it blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The 1,380 kg Chandrayaan-1, carrying 11 payloads, was released into a Transfer Orbit 18.2 minutes after the PSLV-C11 blasted off. After a series of procedures over the next two weeks, the spacecraft would reach its desired lunar orbit and placed at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface, marking the operational phase of the mission which would put India in the elite lunar club. Earlier, at the end of the 49-hour countdown, the 44.4 meter tall four-stage PSLV-11 lifted off from the second launch pad into a cloudy sky. This is the 14th flight of ISRO's workhorse PSLV, which had launched 29 satellites into a variety of orbits since 1993, and 13th successive one in a row. Chandrayaan-1 is carrying 11 payloads, five entirely designed and developed in India, three from European Space Agency, one from Bulgaria and two from US, which would explore the Moon over the next two years. Indian Space Research Organization Chairman G Madhavan Nair described the successful launch as a historic moment in India's space programme. "The launch was perfect and precise. The satellite has been placed in the earth orbit. With this, we have completed the first leg of the mission and it will take 15 days to reach the lunar orbit," Nair announced in the mission control centre. Speaking to NDTV, Chief of the Indian space program Madhavan Nair gave details about the moon mission. The rocket that is carrying India's first unmanned satellite to moon is as high as a 7-storey building and weighs nearly 300 tonnes. One after the other, four stages of the rocket will ignite taking Chandrayaan higher into space. The Chandrayaan will first make a few revolutions around the Earth so that it gathers enough momentum to reach the moon. But it will take several days before it covers the 4 lakh kilometers to reach its destination. The satellite will be captured by moon's gravity and initially it will revolve nearly a thousand kilometers from the moon's surface. But finally it will move closer to nearly 100 kilometers literally over the moon. Once that's done, it will spend the next two years mapping the moon's

surface and sending data to India. And among the first things it does will be to plant India's national flag on the moon. Then as part of its many other challenging objectives the multi-continent mission will begin the most intense search ever undertaken for life giving water on the moon. "We have designed and built this instrument for Chandrayaan-1 to search for the water ice over the lunar poles and will be most extensive search of this type in history," said Dr Stewart Nozette, NASA and Lunar Planetary Institute, Houston, USA.

Once scientific data has been gathered by the satellite, sending it back to Earth will be a big challenge. Digitally talking to the moon craft will not be easy as the satellite will be almost 4 lakh kilometers away. And to gather the faint signals a dish antenna that weighs 60 tons has been set up at a small village called Bylalu near Bangalore. Part of the hi-tech data centre is still being constructed at the village where laborers sweat it out without even knowing that their efforts are taking India to outer space.

Chandrayaan-I another step closer to moon

Chandrayaan I, India’s spacecraft which is to take off for the moon, is on its way to SHAR, i.e., Sriharikota Range, to be integrated with PSLV-C11. The 50-hour countdown to the launch of Chandrayaan will start on the night of October 19. At Sriharikota, Chandrayaan will be put through its paces on the ground. Indian Satellite Research Organization (ISRO’s) scientists will check how its solar panels will deploy. It will also undergo electrical and mechanical tests.

Chandrayaan had earlier undergone preliminary thermal and vibration tests at Isro Satellite Centre (ISAC) in Bangalore. For security threats arising from Naxalites and other possible extremist attacks, the exact location of Chandrayaan is being kept under wraps even as it is being provided tightest possible security, according to sources in Isro. Chandrayaan is expected to reach SHAR in a day or two. The upgraded version of PSLV, PSLV-C11, which has a lift-off weight of 316 tonnes, will be used to inject the 1,304-kg mass spacecraft into a 240 x 24,000 km orbit. The main objective of Chandrayaan-I is investigation of the distribution of various minerals and chemical elements and high-resolution threedimensional mapping of the entire lunar surface. ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will launch Chandrayaan-I into a 240 km x 24,000 km earth orbit. Subsequently, the spacecraft’s own propulsion system will be used to place it in a 100-km polar orbit around the moon. Mr. Annadurai, project chief, Chandrayaan, had said earlier: “This will be the first step towards our manned mission to the moon.” The remote sensing satellite will weigh 1,304 kg (590 kg initial orbit mass and 504 kg dry mass) and carry high-resolution remote sensing equipment for visible, near infrared, soft and hard X-ray frequencies. Over its expected lifetime of two years, it will survey the lunar surface and produce a map of its chemical characteristics and three-dimensional topography. The project, expected to cost Rs 386 crore, will study the surface of the moon using light. Many other countries are also looking at the possibility of mining the abundant mineral resources on the moon.

The ISRO is also planning a second version of Chandrayaan named Chandrayaan II. According to ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair, "The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) hopes to land a motorised rover on the Moon in 2012, as a part of its second Chandrayaan mission. The rover will be designed to move on wheels on the lunar surface, pick up samples of soil or rocks, do on site chemical analysis and send the data to the motherspacecraft Chandrayaan II, which will be orbiting above. Chandrayaan II will transmit the data to Earth."

NASA Lunar Outpost
According to Ben Bussey, senior staff scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel Maryland, Chandrayaan's imagery will be used to decide the future lunar outpost that NASA has recently announced. Bussey told SPACE.COM, "India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter has a good shot at further identifying possible water ice-laden spots with a US-provided low-power imaging radar." Bussey advised — one of two US experiments on the Indian Moon probe. "The idea is that we find regions of interest with Chandrayaan-1 radar. We would investigate those using all the capabilities of the radar on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter". Bussey added, "A Moon probe to be launched late in 2008." (The LRO is now scheduled for launch 24 April 2009).

Reactions and statements
Reactions within India

Indian President Pratibha Patil and Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari sent congratulatory messages to the space scientists for the successful launch. Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh sent congratulatory messages to the space scientists for the successful launch, and L. K. Advani, the leader of opposition congratulated the ISRO scientists on launch. The Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi, visited the ISRO centre in Ahmedabad and congratulated the Indian scientists on their achievement. The Chief Minister of Karnataka B. S. Yeddyurappa, visited the ISRO Indian Deep Space Network in Byalalu and congratulated Madhavan Nair and his team on their achievement.

International reaction

NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin congratulated Indian scientists: "Congratulations to our Indian colleagues on the successful launch of the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, which is carrying two NASA instruments. India's first lunar mission will provide important insight." US White House hailed India's maiden moon mission as "encouraging" and "exciting". U.S. Presidential candidate Barack Obama viewed the launch of Chandrayaan as a challenge to the United States. He stated "We are reminded just how urgently we must revitalise our space programme, if we are to remain the undisputed leader in space, science, and technology". ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration Prof. David Southwood said: "This is a new opportunity for Europe to expand its

competence in lunar science while tightening the long-standing relationship with India - an ever stronger space power. Joining forces is becoming more and more key to future successes. We congratulate ISRO on the successful launch and we are eagerly looking forward to science to begin”.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful