Courtesy :BARCOA Date:2/02/09 VISIT OF BARC scientists to SDSC at ISRO,Chennai
Chandrayaan-1, which means mooncraft in Sanskrit, India’s maiden unmanned mission to the earth’s only satellite –Moon - was put successfully in the earth’s orbit, from the spaceport of Sriharikota at 6.20 am on October 22, 2008 between 06.15 a.m. and 06.35 a.m. though 06.21 a.m. is the most optimal time for lift-off, as moon is inclined 28 degrees towards earth at the equator,
ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C11). Chandrayaan-1 will carry 11 instruments — five from India and six from abroad. India's maiden lunar mission, the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft ,will orbit about 100 km from the lunar surface for two years, performing remote sensing of the dark side or hidden portion of the moon to unravel its mysteries.The Chandrayaan mission will focus on the exploration of the South Pole of the moon besides three-dimensional mapping of the entire moonscape.
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.Chandrayaan I will aslo include lunar orbiter as well as impactor. The cost is INR 3.8 billion Chandrayaan-1: imaging moon in 64 colours The remote sensing satellite will weigh 1304 kg carry high resolution remote sensing equipment for visible, near infrared, 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 3-dimensional topography. The Polar Regions are of special interest, as they might contain water ice.
The spacecraft was injected in elliptical transfer orbit with a perigee of about 250 km and apogee of about 23,000 km. It will continue to orbit the earth for fifteen days before entering into the Moon’s gravitational area and entering the Lunar orbit. The Chandrayaan is to take about five days to reach the moon and would be placed in a 100-kilometre polar orbit, from where it is to study the moon for two years. Scientists said that despite more than 65 manned and unmanned missions to the moon over the past half-century, not everything about the moon was understood. The theory that the moon originated after a catastrophic collision of the Earth with a Mars-sized body more than 3 billion years ago was still unproven.
One of the lunar orbiter`s key missions will be to map the moon. `During the two-year expedition, the 11 devices will be used to prepare a three-dimensional atlas of both near and far side of the moon,` . The maps will have a high resolution of 5 to 10 metres, Chandrayaan-1 satellite would orbit the Moon at an altitude of 100 km, mapping the topography and the mineralogical content of the lunar soil. India`s lunar explorer, Chandrayaan-1, will try to unravel the moon`s origins as it scouts for minerals and water there, Chandrayaan-1 would also carry a Moon Impact Probe payload for demonstrating the technology needed towards landing on the Moon's surface. The PSLV will put the satellite into an elliptical orbit under the influence of earth’s gravity.
The 45-metre tall, updated version PSLV is the trusted workhorse launch vehicle of the Indian space agency, (ISRO) with a record of 12 consecutive launches since 1994. Shaped like a cuboid, Chandrayaan is powered by a single solar panel generating about 700 watts. A 36 ampere-hour (AH) lithium ion battery supplies power when the solar panel, projecting from one of its sides, is not illuminated by sun.
The spacecraft's dual gimballed antenna will transmit the precious scientific data collected by its instruments to earth. Within 25 seconds of the lift-off from the second launch pad, the two strap-on motors will fire the rocket to place Chandrayaan into a highly elliptical transfer orbit around earth in the next 110 seconds. After circling earth in its transfer orbit for a while, the spacecraft will be put into more elliptical orbits by repeatedly firing its liquid apogee motor (LAM) at opportune moments. The LAM onboard will be fired again to make the spacecraft travel to the vicinity of moon by following a path called lunar transfer trajectory (LTT), whose apogee - farthest point from earth - is at 387,000 km.
Chandrayaan 2 mission in 2011, just three years from now. If that was not enough, current plan indicates a manned space mission in 2014 followed by a manned lunar mission in 2020 - which happens to be four years before China's 2024 deadline. India also seems to be better placed than China as far as the moolah spent on these missions is concerned. The Chandrayaan -1 mission for example, with a budget of $86 million cost only half as much as China's Chang'e 1 mission. India’s Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) will put Chandrayaan-2 in orbit around 2011-12.