Indian Space Research Organisation

Topics: Moon, Chandrayaan-1, Exploration of the Moon Pages: 7 (2172 words) Published: September 20, 2010
Indian Space Research Organisation’s(ISRO) Chandrayaan – Founder of water on Moon

Chandrayaan-1 was a scientific investigation – by spacecraft – of the Moon. The name Chandrayaan means “Chandra-Moon, Yaan-vehicle”, –in Indian languages (Sanskrit and Hindi) , – the lunar spacecraft. Chandrayaan-1 is the first Indian planetary science and exploration mission. It is India's first unmanned lunar probe. It was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation in October 2008, and operated until August 2009. The vehicle was successfully inserted into lunar orbit on 8 November 2008.[

On 14 November 2008, the Moon Impact Probe separated from the Chandrayaan orbiter at 20:06 and struck the south pole in a controlled manner, making India the fourth country to place its flag on the Moon.[10] The probe impacted near Shackleton Crater at 20:31 ejecting underground soil that could be analysed for the presence of lunar water ice. The estimated cost for the project was Rs 386 crore (US$ 80 million). Former President A P J Abdul Kalam, whose idea it was to include the impactor as part of Chandrayaan’s cargo, described the achievement as “a gift to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru” because the event happened on the 119th birth anniversary of India’s first prime minister. As the mini satellite began its nosedive at 8.06 pm, its altimeter began recording measurements to prepare the ground for a rover to land on the lunar surface during a second mission planned for 2012.

Over a two-year period, it was intended to survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and three-dimensional 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 space agencies including NASA, ESA, and the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency, which were carried free of cost.

After suffering from several technical issues including failure of the star sensors and poor thermal shielding, Chandrayaan stopped sending radio signals at 1:30 AM IST on 29 August 2009 shortly after which, the ISRO officially declared the mission over. Chandrayaan operated for 312 days as opposed to the intended two years but the mission achieved 95 percent of its planned objectives.Among its many achievements was the discovery of the widespread presence of water molecules in lunar soil. The basic components of the chandrayaan-1 spacecraft are:

I. The scientific payloads: the instruments that will gather science data. II. The solar array that provides power to the spacecraft. Chandrayaan also carries a battery that stores the power generated by the solar array and feeds it to other systems. III. The thrusters perform fuel burns to change the spacecraft’s trajectory and attitude. IV. The various functional requirements of the spacecraft such as Attitude and Orbit Control, Command processing, House keeping telemetry, Sensor data processing, Thermal management, payload data handling operation, dual gimbaled data transmission antenna pointing , onboard mission management etc would be taken care by the Bus Management Unit (BMU). V. The spacecraft also carries two star sensors and inertial reference unit based on miniaturised gyros providing absolute attitude.

The Chandrayaan-1 mission was aimed at high-resolution remote sensing of the Lunar surface in visible, near Infrared, low energy X-rays and high-energy X-ray regions. Specific scientific goals are: i. To prepare a three-dimensional atlas (with a high spatial and altitude resolution of 5-10 m) of both near and far side of the moon. ii. To conduct chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface for distribution of mineral and chemical elements such as Magnesium, Aluminum, Silicon, Calcium, Iron and Titanium as well as high atomic number elements such as Radon, Uranium & Thorium with high spatial resolution. iii. By simultaneous photo geological and chemical mapping, we will...
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