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Chandrayaan 1

Chandrayaan I (Lunar Craft), is an unmanned lunar exploration mission by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The mission includes a lunar orbiter as well as an impactor. The spacecraft will be launched by a modified version of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

The remote sensing satellite will weigh 1304 kg (590 kg initial orbit mass & 504 kg dry mass) & carry high resolution remote sensing equipment for visible, near infrared, soft & hard X-ray frequencies. Over a 2-year period, it is intended to survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics & 3-dimensional topography. The polar regions are of special interest, as they might contain water ice.

The ISRO has identified Mylswamy Annadurai as Project Chief.

The spacecraft is scheduled for launch on October 22 with a window fixed between October 19 & October 28.

They estimate the cost to be INR 3.8 billion (US$ 83 million).

The mission includes five ISRO payloads & six payloads from other international space agencies such as NASA & ESA, & the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency.


Organization Indian Space Research Organization
Mission type Orbiter
Satellite of Moon
Launch date 22nd October 2008 from Sriharikota, AP, India
Launch vehicle Modified Version Of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle [PSLV-XL]
Mission duration 2 years

Mass 523 kg
Power 750 W
Orbital elements
Eccentricity near circular
Apoapsis initial 1000 km

Scientific Objectives

The Chandrayaan-1 mission is aimed at high-resolution remote sensing of the moon in visible, near infrared(NIR), low energy X-rays & high-energy X-ray regions. Specifically the objectives will be

Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org To prepare a three-dimensional atlas (with a high spatial & altitude resolution of 5-10m) of both near & far side of the moon.

Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org To conduct chemical & mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface for distribution of elements such as Magnesium, Aluminum, Silicon, Calcium, Iron & Titanium with a spatial resolution of about 25 km & high atomic number elements such as Radon, Uranium & Thorium with a spatial resolution of about 20 km.

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Simultaneous photo geological & chemical mapping will enable identification of different geological units, which will test the early evolutionary history of the moon & help in determining the nature & stratigraphy of the lunar crust.

Mission Objectives

To launch & orbit a spacecraft in lunar polar orbit & conduct scientific studies.

  • To carry out high resolution mapping of topographic features in 3D, distribution of various minerals & elemental chemical species including radioactive nuclides covering the entire lunar surface using a set of remote sensing payloads. The new set of data would help in unraveling mysteries about the origin & evolution of solar system in general & that of the moon in particular or on its composition & mineralogy.

  • Realize the mission goal of harnessing the science payloads, lunar craft & the launch vehicle with suitable ground support system including DSN station, integration & testing, launching & achieving lunar orbit of ~100 km, in-orbit operation of experiments, communication/telecommand, telemetry data reception, quick look data & archival for scientific utilization by identified group of scientists.
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    Mission Sequence

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org The spacecraft would be launched by PSLV-C11 in a highly elliptical transfer orbit with perigee of about 240 km & an apogee of about 24,000 km. Later, the spacecraft would be raised to moon rendezvous orbit by multiple in-plane perigee maneuvers. These maneuvers would help to achieve the required 3,86,000 km apogee of the Lunar Transfer Trajectory (LTT).

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org After a quick estimate of the achieved LTT a mid-course correction will be imparted at the earliest opportunity. The spacecraft coasts for about five & a half days in this trajectory prior to the lunar encounter. The major maneuver of the mission, called Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) that leads to lunar capture, would be carried out at the peri-selene (nearest point in lunar orbit) leading to successful lunar capture in a polar, near circular 1000 km-altitude orbit.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org After successful capture & health checks, the altitude is planned to be lowered through a series of in-plane corrections to achieve the target altitude of 100 km circular polar orbit.

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    Specific Areas of Study
  • High resolution mineralogical & chemical imaging of permanently shadowed north & 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 & stereographic coverage of most of the moon's surface with 5m resolution, to provide new insights in understanding the moon's origin & evolution.

  • The Spacecraft - Description.

    Spacecraft for lunar mission is :
    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org Cuboid in shape of approximately 1.50 m side.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org Weighing 1304 kg at launch & 590 kg at lunar orbit.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org Accommodates eleven science payloads.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 3-axis stabilized spacecraft using two star sensors, gyros & four reaction wheels.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org The power generation would be through a canted single-sided solar array to provide required power during all phases of the mission. This deployable solar array consisting of a single panel generates 700W of peak power. Solar array along with yoke would be stowed on the south deck of the spacecraft in the launch phase. During eclipse spacecraft will be powered by Lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org After deployment the solar panel plane is canted by 30ยบ to the spacecraft pitch axis.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org The spacecraft employs a X-band, 0.7m diameter parabolic antenna for payload data transmission. The antenna employs a dual gimbal mechanism to track the earth station when the spacecraft is in lunar orbit.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org The spacecraft uses a bipropellant integrated propulsion system to reach lunar orbit as well as orbit & attitude maintenance while orbiting the moon.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org The propulsion system carries required propellant for a mission life of 2 years, with adequate margin.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org The Telemetry, Tracking & Command (TTC) communication is in S-band frequency.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org The scientific payload data transmission is in X-band frequency.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org The spacecraft has three Solid State Recorders (SSRs) on board to record data from various payloads.

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org SSR-1 will store science payload data & has capability of storing 32Gb data.
    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org SSR-2 will store science payload data along with spacecraft attitude information (gyro & star sensor), satellite house keeping & other auxiliary data. The storing capacity of SSR-2 is 8Gb.
    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org M3 (Moon Mineralogy Mapper) payload has an independent SSR with 10Gb capacity.


    Ground Segment for Chandrayaan-1 comprises three major elements viz. Deep Space Station (DSN), Spacecraft Control Center (SCC) & Indian Space Science Data Center (ISSDC). This trio of ground facility ensures the success of the mission by providing to & fro conduit of communication, securing good health of the spacecraft, maintaining the orbit & attitude to the requirements of the mission & conducting payload operations.The ground segment is also responsible for making the science data available for the Technologists / Scientists along with auxiliary information, in addition to storage of payload & spacecraft data.

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    Ground Segment for Chandrayaan-1

    The scientific payload has a total mass of 90 kg & contains six Indian instruments & six foreign instruments.
    • The Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) has 5 m resolution & a 40 km swath in the panchromatic band & will be used to produce a high-resolution map of the Moon.
    • The Hyper Spectral Imager (HySI) will perform mineralogical mapping in the 400-900 nm band with a spectral resolution of 15 nm & a spatial resolution of 80 m.
    • The Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI) will determine the surface topography.
    • An X-ray fluorescence spectrometer C1XS covering 1- 10 keV with a ground resolution of 25 km & a Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) to detect solar flux in the 1–10 keV range. C1XS will be used to map the abundance of Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, & Fe at the surface, & will monitor the solar flux. This payload is a collaboration between Rutherford Appleton laboratory, U.K, ESA & ISRO.
    • A High Energy X-ray/gamma ray spectrometer (HEX) for 30- 200 keV measurements with ground resolution of 40 km, the HEX will measure U, Th, 210Pb, 222Rn degassing, & other radioactive elements
    • Moon Impact probe(MIP) developed by ISRO is in turn a small satellite that will be carried by Chandrayaan-1 & will be ejected once it reaches 100 km orbit around moon, to impact on the moon. MIP carries three more instruments namely, a high resolution mass spectrometer, an S-Band altimeter & a video camera. The MIP also carries with it a picture of the Indian flag, it's presence marking as only the fourth nation to place a flag on the moon after Russia, United States & Japan.
    • Among foreign payloads, The Sub-keV Atom Reflecting Analyzer (SARA) from ESA will map composition using low energy neutral atoms sputtered from the surface.
    • The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) from Brown University & JPL (funded by NASA) is an imaging spectrometer designed to map the surface mineral composition.
    • A near infrared spectrometer (SIR-2) from ESA, built at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Polish Academy of Science & University of Bergen, will also map the mineral composition using an infrared grating spectrometer. The instrument will be similar to that of the Smart-1 SIR.
    • S-band miniSAR from the APL at the Johns Hopkins University (funded by NASA) is the active SAR system to map lunar polar ice. The instrument will transmit right polarized radiation with a frequency of 2.5 GHz & will monitor the scattered left & right polarized radiation. The Fresnel reflectivity & the cicular polarization ratio (CPR) are the key parameters deduced from this measurments. Ice shows the Coherent Backscatter Opposition Effect which results in an enhancement of refelections & CPR. With the data the water content of the moon polar region can estimated.
    • Radiation Dose Monitor (RADOM-7) from Bulgaria is to map the radiation environment around the moon.

    Launch Vehicle - Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) built its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in the early 90s. The 45 m tall PSLV with a lift-off mass of 295 tonne, had its maiden success on October 15, 1994 when it launched India's IRS-P2 remote sensing satellite into a Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) of 820 km. Between 1996 & 2005, it has launched six more Indian Remote Sensing satellites as well as HAMSAT, a micro satellite built by ISRO for amateur radio communications into polar SSOs, one Indian meteorological satellite into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). During this period, PSLV has also launched four satellites from abroad (TUBSAT & DLR-Bird from Germany, Proba from Belgium & KITSAT from Republic of Korea) as piggyback payloads into polar SSOs. Thus, PSLV has emerged as ISRO's workhorse launch vehicle & proved its reliability & versatility by scoring eight consecutive successes between 1994-2005 periods in launching multiple payloads to both SSO as well as GTO.
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    The first Indian moon mission is proposed to be a lunar polar orbiter at an altitude of about 100 km from the lunar surface.

    Considering the maturity of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) demonstrated through PSLV-C4/KALPANA-1 mission, PSLV is chosen for the first lunar mission. The upgraded version of PSLV viz., PSLV-C11 which has a liftoff weight of 316 tonnes, will be used to inject 1304 kg mass spacecraft at 240 x 24,000 km orbit & the corresponding spacecraft mass is 590kg when the target lunar orbit of 100 km is achieved.

    Participating Groups

    The following ISRO Centres are participating in the Chandrayaan Mission -1

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 1. ISRO Headquarters, Bangalore, India

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 2. ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore, India

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 3. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, India

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 4. Space Application Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, India

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 5. ISRO Telemetry , Tracking & Command Network (ISTRAC), Bangalore, India

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 6. Laboratory for Electro Optic Systems (LEOS), Bangalore, India

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 7. Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, India

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 8. Space Physics Laboratory (SPL), VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram, India

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 9. National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), Hyderabad, India

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 10. Liquid Propulsion Systems Center (LPSC) Bangalore & Mahendragiri, India

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 11. ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU),Thiruvananthapuram, India

    International Groups participating in Chandrayaan Mission -1 are

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 12. Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 13. Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy, Lindau,Germany

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 14. Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna, Sweden

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 15. Solar-Terrestrial Influences Laboratory, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 16. Institute for Radiological Protection & Nuclear Safety, France

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 17. Nuclear Physics Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czechoslovakia

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 18. Applied Physics Lab, Johns Hopkins University, MD, USA

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 19. Naval Air Warfare Centre, Chinalake, CA, USA

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 20. Brown University, USA

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 21. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 22. Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements, Toulouse, France

    Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.Org 23. University of Helsinki, Finland

    Chandrayaan II

    ISRO is also planning a second version of Chandrayaan named: Chandrayaan II. According to ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair, "The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) hopes to land a motorised rover on the moon in 2010 or 2011, as a part of its second Chandrayaan mission. The rover will be designed to move on wheels on the lunar surface, pick up samples of soil or rocks, do in situ chemical analysis & send the data to the mother-spacecraft Chandrayaan II, which will be orbiting above. Chandrayaan II will transmit the data to the ground. We are trying to conceive an experiment in which the system will land on the lunar surface, move around & pick up samples, do their chemical analysis & transmit the data back to the ground."

    On 12-11-2007 representatives of the Russian Federal Space Agency & ISRO signed an agreement for the two agencies to work together on the Chandrayaan II project.

    Chandrayaan II will consist of the spacecraft itself & a landing platform with the moon rover. The platform with the rover will detach from the orbiter after the spacecraft reaches its orbit above the moon, & land on lunar soil. Then the rover will roll out of the platform. Mylswamy Annadurai, Project Director, Chandrayaan I, said: "Chandrayaan II will carry a semi-hard or soft-landing system. A motorised rover will be released on the moon's surface from the lander. The location for the lander will be identified using Chandrayaan I data."

    The rover will weigh between 30 kg & 100 kg, depending on whether it is to do a semi-hard landing or soft landing. The rover will have an operating life-span of a month. It will run predominantly on solar power. Launch Date - 2010/2011


    According to Ben Bussey, senior staff scientist at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, Chandrayaan's imagery will be used to decide the future Moon Base that NASA has recently announced. Bussey told SPACE.com, "India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter has a good shot at further identifying possible water ice-laden spots with a U.S.-provided low-power imaging radar, Bussey advised--one of two U.S. experiments on the Indian Moon probe. The idea is that we find regions of interest with Chandrayaan-1 radar. We would investigate those using all the capabilities of the radar on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Bussey added, a Moon probe to be launched late in 2008." The launch date for the LRO has since been delayed to February 2009.

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