Chandrayaan-1 successfully lunch into space
With the countdown beginning for India’s maiden unmanned moon mission launch Chandrayaan-1 is an unmanned lunar exploration mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), India’s national space agency. The mission includes a lunar orbiter as well as an impactor. The spacecraft was launched by a modified version of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle yesterday (on 22 October 2008).
The remote sensing satellite weighs 1,308 kilograms (2,884 lb) (590 kilograms (1,301 lb) initial orbit mass and 504 kilograms (1,111 lb) dry mass) and carries 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 successfully launched yesterday at 6:22 am Indian Standard Time (00:52 UTC). After the spacecraft reaches its lunar transfer orbit, it will take 5.5 days to reach the Moon. They estimate the cost to be Rs. 3.86 billion (US$ 80 million).
The mission includes five ISRO payloads and six payloads from other international space agencies such as NASA and ESA, and the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency, which is being carried free of cost.