India's Chandrayaan-1: The First Indian Moon Mission

Chandrayaan first Indian moon mission pictureToday brings a lot of happiness to us Indians. Our first mission to explore the Lunar surface has been launched successfully from Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, today 22 Oct, at 6:22 IST. The ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), the premier Indian space research center is behind this achievement.

Chandrayaan is a Sanskrit word, which breaks down thus:

Chandra—the moon
Yaan—voyage/vehicle for voyage

Chandrayaan’s objectives include as quoted by the ISRO:

  • 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 unravelling 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/telecommand, telemetry data reception, quick look data and archival for scientific utilization by identified group of scientists.

The satellite launch vehicle, PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) carried the Chandrayaan with a kit of equipments from various countries. Both NASA and European space research agencies have their specific equipments in place on the Chandrayaan.

Video Coverage of the Launch

We are already planning Chandrayaan 2.

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008

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