Updated: Oct 31

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Chandrayaan 1 was the first moon probe of India. It was the biggest step of India towards space. The project of chandrayaan was started by the chairman of ISRO, K.Kasturirangan. But the initial planning for moon mission was started in 2000 by ISRO.

The announcement of Chandrayaan mission was done by late prime minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on the occasion of independence day on 15th August 2003. It was a major boost for India’s space programme.

Chandrayaan 1 was launched by Indian space Research Organisation (ISRO) In October 2008 and operated until 2009. The name Chandrayaan was given from Indian mythology as Chandra means moon and yaan means ship or space craft . Collectively Chandrayaan means Moon Craft in ancient Sanskrit. The Chandrayaan spacecraft was based on Indian metrological satellite called Kalpansat.

The spacecraft was launched by India using modified version of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), PSLV-C11 on 22 Oct , 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh. Chandrayaan was about the size of refrigerator, with dry weight (weight without fuel) of about 525 Kg. It was powered by Solari array that charges lithium ion batteries on board. Total on board power was 700 watts. The total weight of Chandrayaan was about 1380 Kg on Earth, whereas 675Kg on Moon.

Chandrayaan was made along with 11 scientific payloads. They are :

Terrain Mapping Stereo Camera (TMC)

Hyper Spectral Imaging Camera (HYSI)

Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI)

High Energy X-ray Spectrometer (HEX)

Moon Impact Probe (MIP)

Chandrayaan 1 X-ray spectrometer (C1XS)

Near Infra Red Spectrometer (SIR-2)

Sub KeV Atom Reflecting Analyser (SARA)

Radiation Dose Monitor Experiment (RADOM)

Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar (MiniSAR)

Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3)

These 11 scientific instruments were built in India, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria. It also represent important step towards India-US space tie up.

Chandrayaan 1 was intended not only to be a demonstration of India’s technology in space, but was also expecting scientific information about the moon. Its major goal was to collect data about the Moon’s geology, mineralogy and topography.

Chandrayaan initially performed its work to study the moon orbiting around it at altitude of 100Km. Then controllers raised the orbit to 200Km. Chandrayaan 1 made 3,400 orbits of the moon and continued to transmit data until 29 August,2009, when controllers permanently lost communication with the spacecraft.

Chandrayaan 1 was launched by PSLV-C11 which was successfully interested into lunar orbit on Nov,8 2008. On 14 Nov,2008 MIP was separated which struck the lunar south pole in controlled manner

India emerged as the fourth country in the world to host its flag on lunar Surface.

Chandrayaan was planned as a mission of 2years, But due to several technical issues and contact failure, ISRO officially declared the mission over on 29 August, 2009. Chandrayaan operated for 312 days only, but was considered successful by achieving 95% of its planned objectives.

The most significant discovery from Chandrayaan 1 is the discovery of the presence of water molecules on the lunar Surface. The Lunar orbit is best known for helping to discover evidence of water molecules on the moon.

Data also revealed their enhanced Abundance towards the polar region.

Gathered information about Lunar Volatiles by X-ray Spectrum on the energy range of 10-200 KeV.

M3 detected spectral lines near the wavelengths in ranging of 2.3-3.0 microns.

The estimated cost for the project was 380 Crore. Chandrayaan 1 was India’s first deep space mission.

In July 2016, NASA found Chandrayaan in Lunar orbit, more than seven years after it shut down. It was observed that Chandrayaan is orbiting which varies between 150-270 in altitude every two years.

Awards for Chandrayaan 1 :-

American Institute Of Aeronautics and Astronautics

International Lunar Exploration Working Group

National Space Society

Reference :


Baba Saheb Ambedkar College Of law , Main Branch , Nagpur.


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