India has successfully launched its first mission to the Moon.
The unmanned Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft blasted off smoothly from a launch pad in southern Andhra Pradesh to embark on a two-year mission of exploration.
The physical exploration of the Moon began when Luna 2, a space probe launched by the Soviet Union, impacted the surface of the Moon on September 14, 1959. In 1969, Project Apollo first successfully landed people (Neil Armstrong commander of the Apollo 11) on the Moon. They placed scientific experiments there and returned rocks and data that suggested the Moon is of a similar composition to the Earth.
Today, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched Chandrayaan-1, an unmanned lunar orbiter. The lunar probe will revolve around the Moon for 2 years taking high resolution images of the lunar surface and also mapping its chemical and mineralogical content. One of the primary objectives of the mission is to map the lunar surface for helium-3. It is believed that the Moon has vast quantities of the mineral which could be used to fuel future nuclear fusion reactors.
The primary objectives of Chandrayaan-1 / India moon mission are:
To place an unmanned spacecraft in an orbit around the moon
To conduct mineralogical and chemical mapping of the lunar surface
To upgrade the technological base in the country
More About Chandrayaan Mission and history
Chandrayaan means moon vehicle in sanskrit. However, it was earlier named Somayaana.
Chandrayaan-I is India’s first unmanned mission to moon.
It was first proposed by ISRO in 1999.
Government of India nod in 2003.
The 3,86,000 KM journey is expected to completed in 5 1/2 days.
Chandrayaan-I will spend two years circling moon and it will remain 100KM away from the moon surface.
It is launched using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle ( PSLV). PSLV-C11 launched a 1304 kg remote sensing satellite (five satellite from ISRO and six from other space agencies [three from European Space Agency, one from Bulgaria and two from NASA]) as part of the Chandrayaan lunar exploration mission. The launch was successful and the satellite was placed in the earth’s orbit and will reach the Moon in 5.5 days after reaching its lunar transfer orbit.
Over a 1000 space scientists and engineers working on the project.
Chandrayaan-1 was built at ISRO’s Satellite Centre, Bangalore, with contribution from various wings of the space agency, including the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram.
Total cost of the project: Rs 386 CR:
RS 53 CR for payload
RS 83 CR for spacecraft bus
Rs 100 CR for PSLV-C11
Rs 50 Cr for Scientific data center
Specific areas of study
High resolution mineralogical and chemical imaging of permanently shadowed north and south polar regions.
Search for surface or sub-surface water-ice on the moon, specially at lunar pole Identification of chemical end members of lunar high land rocks
Chemical stratigraphy of lunar crust by remote sensing of central upland of large lunar craters, South Pole Aitken Region (SPAR) etc., where interior material may be expected
To map the height variation of the lunar surface features along the satellite track
Observation of X-ray spectrum greater than 10 keV and stereographic coverage of most of the moon’s surface with 5 m resolution, to provide new insights in understanding the moon’s origin and evolution.
India has successfully launched a rocket carrying a cluster of 10 satellites into space.
India has successfully launched a rocket carrying a cluster of 10 satellites into space. This is considered as a rare feat for India’s space programme.
All 10 satellites were deployed in orbit within moments of each other and the entire operation lasted 20 minutes only.
From the official press release:
ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C9, successfully launched the 690 kg Indian remote sensing satellite CARTOSAT-2A, the 83 kg Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1) and eight nanosatellites for international customers into a 637 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). PSLV-C9 in its ‘core alone’ configuration launched ten satellites with a total weight of about 820 kg.
According to PTI, Last year, Russia launched a rocket carrying 16 satellites – but with a smaller payload.
G Madhavan Nair, chairman (Isro) said:
It is a historic moment for us because it is the first time that we have launched 10 satellites in a single mission. The mission was perfect
In its twelve consecutively successful flights so far, PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) has repeatedly proved itself as a reliable and versatile workhorse launch vehicle. It has demonstrated multiple satellite launch capability having launched a total of sixteen satellites for international customers besides thirteen Indian payloads which are for remote sensing, amateur radio communications and Space capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1). The same vehicle will be used to launch Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, Indiaâ€™s first mission to Moon during this year.
India’s space programme is more than 45 years old and real aim is to enter into satellite-launching market and reduce its dependence on foreign space agencies.
India’s massive space vision is all set to unfold as Isro planning to undertake 70 space missions in next five years.
The Indian Space Research Organization develops technologies related to space and their application to India’s development. ISRO announced to undertake 70 space mission by 2012. This is three times more than the numbers of mission undertaken in the past five years. ISRO have proposed 70 mission in the 11th plan – April 1 2007 to March 31, 2012.
Also the 2008-09 annual budget has gone up to INR. 4072 crore – a 25% increase over the last financial year.
The US has successfully struck a disabled spy satellite with a missile fired from a warship in waters west of Hawaii, military officials say. So there is no danger to all of us (hydrazine exposure). As reported earlier the satellite, which no longer can be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down. The Pentagon (the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington, Virginia.) used a missile to shoot down the satellite:
Operatives had only a 10-second window to hit the satellite – USA 193 – which went out of control shortly after it was launched in December 2006. Officials were worried its hydrazine fuel could do harm, but it is not yet known if the fuel tank was destroyed. On Tuesday, a US State Department spokesman stressed that the action was meant to protect people from the hazardous fuel and was not a weapons test. The US government has also denied claims that the main aim of the operation was to destroy secret components on USA 193. Officials say classified parts would be burned up in the atmosphere and, in any case, that would not be a reason for shooting down the satellite.
A reconnaissance satellite aka spy satellite used for military or intelligence applications. One of such large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and could hit the Earth in late February or March. The worst part is US government not sure where it will hit on earth. From the yahoo news source:
The satellite, which no longer can be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down, hey said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret. Appropriate government agencies are monitoring the situation,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council. “Numerous satellites over the years have come out of orbit and fallen harmlessly. We are looking at potential options to mitigate any possible damage this satellite may cause
The KH-11, also referenced by the codenames 1010, Crystal and Kennan, also commonly known as “Key Hole”, was a type of reconnaissance satellite launched by the American National Reconnaissance Office between December 1976 and 1990 and used until present. It is believed to resemble the Hubble Space Telescope in size and shape, as the satellites were shipped in similar containers. Using a powerful 2.3-meter mirror, the theoretical ground resolution with no atmospheric degradation and 50% MTF would be roughly 0.15 meter (6 inches). Operational resolution would be worse due to effects of the atmosphere. Different versions of the KH-11 vary in mass from 13,000 to 13,500 kilograms. Its length is believed to be 19.5 meters, and diameter is 3 meters or less.
India successfully launches an Israeli spy satellite, from Sriharikota (island off the coast of Andhra Pradesh in India) space station, AP. Sriharikota is used by the Indian Space Research Organisation to launch satellites using multi-stage rockets such as the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle. This clear shows that India is eager to compete in the world space technology market which is worth multi-billion-dollar industry.
The launch of the Tecsar satellite by an Indian-made rocket was carried out in clear weather at 9:15 am local time from the Sriharikota space station in southern India, the Indian Space Research Organisation said.
The 300-kilogramsatellite, sometimes referred to as the Polaris, was steered into orbit about 20 minutes later, said Antrix Corporation, the marketing arm of the Bangalore-based space agency. It is the second commercial launch of a foreign satellite by India, which sent into space an Italian satellite in April last year.
India wants to join and compete with the United States, Russia, China, the Ukraine and the European Space Agency in offering commercial satellite launch services, a market worth up to 2.5 billion dollars a year.