October 29, 2008:
Chandrayaan-1’s Orbit Closer to Moon
The fourth orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was carried out today (October 29, 2008) morning at 07:38 am IST. During this manoeuvre, the spacecraft's 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for about three minutes. With this, Chandrayaan-1 entered into a more elliptical orbit whose apogee (farthest point to Earth) lies at 267,000 km (two lakh sixty seven thousand km) while the perigee (nearest point to Earth) lies at 465 km. Thus, Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft's present orbit extends more than half the way to moon. In this orbit, the spacecraft takes about six days to go round the Earth once.
The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with support from Indian Deep Space Network antennas at Byalalu. All systems onboard the spacecraft are performing normally. One more orbit raising manoeuvre is scheduled to send the spacecraft to the vicinity of the moon at a distance of about 384,000 km from the Earth.
October 26, 2008:
During this manoeuvre which was initiated at 07:08 IST, the spacecraft’s 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for about nine and a half minutes. With this, Chandrayaan-1 entered a much higher elliptical orbit around the Earth. The apogee (farthest point to Earth) of this orbit lies at 164,600 km while the perigee (nearest point to Earth) is at 348 km. In this orbit, Chandrayaan-1 takes about 73 hours to go round the Earth once.
The antennas of the Indian Deep Space Network at Byalalu are playing a crucial role in tracking and communicating with Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in such a high orbit. The spacecraft performance is normal. More orbit raising manoeuvres are planned in the coming few days to take Chandrayaan-1 towards the Moon.
October 23, 2008:
October 23, 2008:
In its fourteenth flight conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota this morning (October 22, 2008), the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO's) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C11, successfully launched the 1380 kg Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft into a transfer orbit with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 255 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 22,860 km, inclined at an angle of 17.9 deg to the equator.
After a 52 hour count down, PSLV-C11 lifted off from the Second Launch Pad at SDSC SHAR at 06:22 Hrs Indian Standard Time (IST) with the ignition of the core first stage. The important flight events included the separation of the first stage, ignition of the second stage, separation of the payload fairing at about 116 km altitude after the vehicle had cleared the dense atmosphere, second stage separation, third stage ignition, third stage separation, fourth stage ignition and fourth stage cut-off.
PSLV-C11 is the uprated version of ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in its standard configuration. Weighing 320 tonnes at lift-off, the vehicle uses larger strap-on motors (PSOM-XL) to achieve higher payload capability. PSOM-XL uses 12 tonnes of solid propellants instead of 9 tonnes used in the earlier configuration of PSLV. PSLV is a four stage launch vehicle employing both solid and liquid propulsion stages. PSLV is the trusted workhorse launch Vehicle of ISRO. During 1993-2008 period, PSLV had fourteen launches of which thirteen (including today's launch) are consecutively successful. PSLV has repeatedly proved its reliability and versatility by launching 30 spacecraft (14 Indian and 16 for international customers) into a variety of orbits so far.
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, designed and developed PSLV. ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU) at Thiruvananthapuram developed the inertial systems. The Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), also at Thiruvananthapuram, developed the liquid propulsion stages for the second and fourth stages of PSLV as well as reaction control systems. SDSC SHAR processed the solid propellant motors and carried out launch operations. ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) provided telemetry, tracking and command support.
Chandrayaan-1 is India's first spacecraft mission beyond Earth's orbit. It aims to further expand our knowledge about Earth's only natural satellite - the moon. With well-defined objectives, Chandrayaan-1 mission intends to put an unmanned spacecraft into an orbit around the moon and to perform remote sensing of our nearest celestial neighbour for about two years using eleven scientific instruments built in India and five other countries.
More Information can be found on: http://isro.org/pressrelease/Oct22_2008.htm
Chandrayaan-1 Brochure: http://isro.org/pslv-c11/brochure/index.htm
On day 21st the ASI SC team started journey from Pondicherry to Shriharikota around 10:30pm in the late evening in heavy rain and reached Shriharikota around 3:30am in the early morning. The ASI SC Team headed towards the nearer place from where they could see the launch of PSLV. It is in the bank of Pulicat Lake overlooking the Chandrayaan-1 launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre to capture the memories of Chandrayaan-1 Launch Mission.
Around 6:22am, the ASI SC team heard the blast of PSLV and few second later, the rocket thundering leaving behind a spectacular long yellowish plumes noticed by ASI SC team with several local people at Shriharikota.
The launch images are posted below are taken by the ASI SC team during Chandrayaan-1 launch at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Shriharikota.
The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) is one of two instruments that NASA is contributing to India's first mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-1 (meaning "Lunar Craft" in ancient Sanskrit), which launched on October 22, 2008. M3 is a state-of-the-art imaging spectrometer that will provide the first map of the entire lunar surface at high spatial and spectral resolution, revealing the minerals of which it is made.
Scientists will use this information to answer questions about the Moon's origin and development and the evolution of terrestrial planets in the early solar system. Future astronauts will use it to locate resources, possibly including water, that can support exploration of the Moon and beyond.