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India In Space

, Indian progress

 
> India In Space, Indian progress
Sharmila-Sweet
post Oct 21 2008, 01:52 PM
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Chandrayaan shifted to launch pad, ready for liftoff
19 Oct 2008, 0016 hrs IST, Srinivas Laxman, TNN





MUMBAI: The 44.4 m tall Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) with the fully integrated moon-bound Chandrayaan spacecraft was shifted to the launch pad in the new secondary launch area at Sriharikota at about 7pm on Friday, ISRO chief spokesperson S Satish said.

The much-awaited lift-off, first international lunar mission led by India, is slated for takeoff at 6.20am on October 22.

Satish said the vehicle carrying the rocket moved at a snail's pace — a few metres per minute — taking more than an hour to reach the launch pad from the vehicle assembly building.

The movement of the vehicle was extremely slow to ensure that everything was intact with the rocket and the mooncraft.

"Even though it rained at Sriharikota on Friday evening when the rocket was shifted, it was no cause for concern. Forecast suggests that weather on October 22 will be benign and launch will take place," said Satish. Other space officials have repeatedly said that even if it rains on the morning of October 22, the rocket will lift off.


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Smooth rehearsal for Chandrayaan
19 Oct 2008, 1709 hrs IST,IANS





CHENNAI: India's first lunar spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 was fitted to the launch pad for rehearsals late on Saturday night and they "went off well", a top space agency official said on Sunday, three days ahead of the final launch. ( Watch )

"The launch rehearsal was held at 10 p.m. and everything went off fine. It is like a dress rehearsal ahead of the October 22 launch," a scientist said declining to be named.

The fully integrated Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C11) with the lunar spacecraft atop was moved to the launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km from Chennai, and off the Bay of Bengal.

"Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) centre at Sriharikota and at the tracking centre in Bangalore were involved in the operation," he said.

The scientists are keeping their fingers crossed that the weather on Wednesday would be fine. While met officials have predicted rain on the day, scientists say it will not affect the launch. "Only cyclone and lightning will be a problem," the official said.

ISRO director S Satish said: "The 316-tonne launch vehicle with the 1,380 kg spacecraft was fitted to the launch pad. The launch exercises, including testing, are in progress. About 1,000 scientists and technicians are working round-the-clock to prepare for the 52-hour initial countdown from the wee hours of October 20."

With 11 scientific instruments (payloads), including six foreign and five Indian, Chandrayaan was mated with the launch vehicle late on Thursday for mandatory checks and the final journey.

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After Moon, India eyes Mars mission
18 Nov 2007, 0139 hrs IST, Srinivas Laxman, TNN





MUMBAI: With India heading for the moon, can Mars be far behind? The answer is a no.


On Friday, the Indian mission to Mars got a fillip with ISRO's 11th plan including the flight to the Red Planet as a part of the document.

India's decision assumes significance in the background of Mars becoming a favourite target after the moon for the US, Russia and the European Space Agency. In fact this week Russia began preparations for a manned mission to Mars.

With Japan and China also expected to join the race to Mars, Indian space scientists feel that India cannot afford to lag behind.

On Saturday, confirming the country's plans to embark on a mission to Mars, director of the Ahmedabad-based Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), J N Goswami, told TOI that if the project is finally approved "India will carry out scientific activities on Mars in the international context."

Said Goswami: "Our plan envisages imaging Mars only through an orbiter. We have no immediate plans for a landing mission."

Goswami is the principal scientific investigator for the "Chandrayaan-1" mission, India's maiden flight to the moon, slated for lift off either on April 9 or April 23, 2008.

He said the Indian Mars mission will focus on basic science like studying the Martian atmosphere, the ionosphere, the magnetic field, the dust storms and the weather. The project also includes searching for water, he said.

Contacted at Bangalore, ISRO officials said a lot of analysis needs to be done before the mission becomes a reality.

"The logical extension after the moon is Mars." an official added. The moon mission has been described as a precursor to more ambitions interplanetary flights to be undertaken by India. Former President A P J Abdul Kalam had stated that a Mars mission will have economic value.

Though a precise time line for the ambitious six-to-eight month flight to Mars has yet to be worked, indications are that if the Centre endorses the project, the mission could lift off around 2015 using the three-stage Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) which is already operational. The Mars orbiter that has to be designed and made is expected to weigh around 500 kgs.

The cost of the mission will be Rs three billion. The mission to moon has a price tag of Rs 386 crore. ISRO chairman, G Madhavan Nair, has said, "Mars is emerging on our horizon."

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Sharmila-Sweet
post Mar 2 2010, 10:20 AM
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Chandrayaan-I detects ice deposits on moon
March 02, 2010 08:16 IST



Scientists have detected more than 40 ice-filled craters in the moon's North Pole using data from a NASA [ Images ] radar that flew aboard India's [ Images ] Chandrayaan-I.

NASA's Mini-SAR instrument, lightweight, synthetic aperture radar, found more than 40 small craters with water ice. The craters range in size from 2 to 15 km in diameter.

The finding would give future missions a new target to further explore and exploit, a NASA statement said, adding it is estimated that there could be at least 600 million metric tons of water ice in the craters.

"The emerging picture from the multiple measurements and resulting data of the instruments on lunar missions indicates that water creation, migration, deposition and retention are occurring on the moon," Paul Spudis, principal investigator of the Mini-SAR experiment at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, said yesterday.

The new discoveries show that the moon is an even more interesting and attractive scientific, exploration and operational destination than previously thought, he said.

Aboard Chandrayaan-I, the Mini-SAR mapped the moon's permanently-shadowed polar craters that are not visible from the earth. The radar uses the polarisation properties of reflected radio waves to characterise surface properties.

According to the findings which are being published in the latest issue of the Geophysical Research Letters journal, results from the mapping showed deposits having radar characteristics similar to ice.

"After analysing the data, our science team determined a strong indication of water ice, a finding which will give future missions a new target to further explore and exploit," Jason Crusan, program executive for the Mini-RF Program for NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate, said.

The space agency said these results are consistent with recent findings of other NASA instruments and adds to growing scientific understanding of the multiple forms of water found on the moon.

The agency's Moon [ Images ] Mineralogy Mapper discovered water molecules in the moon's polar regions, while water vapour was detected by NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite.

Mini-SAR and Moon Mineralogy Mapper are two of 11 instruments on India's first unmanned mission to the moon -- Chandrayaan-I.


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