Chandrayaan-1 Launch

Chandrayaan-1 successfully launched |The Space Fellowship

The Chandrayaan-1 (trans. Mooncraft-1) lunar probe should prove quite useful for further expansion of lunar exploration, especially with instruments that will be looking for minerals on the Moon that could prove extremely useful for future development there.

Knowing the amounts of these minerals available over the surface of the Moon, magnetic anomalies, and how the Moon’s surface reacts to solar wind could help concentrate efforts as to locations of landing sites and potential lunar bases.

Congratulations the ISRO for a successful launch. Here’s hoping the lunar insertion and overall mission goes as equally well.

The following is for aerospace engineers, space geeks, and others interested in space.

Chandrayaan-1 Specifications

Mass (launch): 1,380 kg

Mass (lunar orbit): 675 kg (523 kg after impactor released)

Dimensions: 1.5 m, cube

    Payload data transmission –  X Band, 0.7 m parabolic antenna
    Telemetry, Tracking & Command – S Band

Primary Power:
    solar array generating ~750 W stored in 36 A-h lithium-ion battery

Propulsion System:
    bipropellant for transfer to lunar orbit and maintain altitude

Attitude Determination and Control:
    star sensors
    inertial reference unit
    attitude control thrusters
    reaction wheels

Numerous pictures of the spacecraft and launch can be found at the Indian Space Research Organisation

Spacecraft information obtained from ISRO and NASA.

Unmanned Lunar Missions Under Development

Estimated launch dates/years are in brackets ().

United States: LRO (2009), LCROSS (2009), GRAIL (2011), LADEE (2011), ILN (2013-2014)

Russia: Luna-Glob (2009-2012) Date has changed several times for assorted reasons. Mission is first step in creation of the Lunny Poligon robotic lunar base by 2020.

China: Chang’e-1 (duplicate of previous launch in 2007) (2009)

India: Chandrayaan II (2010-2011)

There are also some proposed unmanned programs underway, among them the Google Lunar X Prize, as well as the ongoing manned programs of the United States (by 2018), China, Japan, and India (2020 each), Europe (2024) and Russia (2025). Japan’s ambitions are perhaps the greatest with a proposed lunar base by 2030.

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