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Chandrayaan Lunar Mission Will Carry NASA Payload

Bangalore, India (SPX) May 1, 2006 - ISRO has agreed to carry two NASA research
instruments aboard its Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, the Indian lunar-orbiting
mission planned for launch next year, The Hindu newspaper reported Sunday.

ISRO Pushing For Indian Satellite Industry

Bangalore, India (SPX) May 1, 2006 - ISRO is looking to jump-start an Indian
satellite industry by inviting prospective domestic contractors to work with the
agency until they can develop independent manufacturing capabilities.
Very nice description of Chandrayaan's science payload at . Looks well-designed -- if Japan's Selene-1 fails, this one will make a good backup. (Note, by the way, that it carries THREE separate near-IR spectrometers.)
A very interesting project since it is the Indian's lunar spacecraft mission. India has already developed many spacecraft, all of them for telecomunications, science and meteorological purposes around the Earth. India has own rocket technology which is based of cyrogenic liquid.

The spacecraft will be launched on a PSLV C5 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota on the southeast coast of India in September of 2007 at the earliest. The PSLV will inject Chandrayaan-1 into a 240 x 36000 km geosynchronous transfer orbit. After a 5.5 day lunar transfer trajectory the spacecraft will be captured into an initial 1000 km near circular orbit which will be lowered to a 200 km checkout orbit and finally into a 100 km circular polar orbit. It will stay in orbit and return data for at least two years. Chandrayaan is Hindi for "Moon Craft". Total cost of the mission is about $100 million U.S.

The price tag of the Chandrayaan-1 is not cheap and it sounds about right. It will bring many scientific instruments.

Hope it will success since it is labeled as a high risk project since it is the first project ones.

NASA Agrees to Cooperate With India on Lunar Mission

"NASA will have two scientific instruments on India's maiden voyage to the moon.

Tuesday, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and his counterpart, Indian Space
Research Organization Chairman G. Madhavan Nair, signed two Memoranda of
Understanding in Bangalore, India, for cooperation on India's Chandrayaan-1
India Space Agency Dreams Of Lunar Ice Mines

Discussing the aforesaid programme of ISRO, chairman PRI council, ISRO-DOS, Prof UR Rao said: "The mission aims to search for surface or sub-surface water-ice on the moon, specially at the lunar pole and to carry out high resolution mapping of topographic features in 3D. It would also look into the mineral composition of the moon." Rao, who is also Chancellor of Ambedkar University, was in the city on Tuesday.
Outsourcing NASA to India ?
Indian scientist spearheads ISRO-NASA joint moon exploration

India's lunar ambitions
Mooncraft, India’s the First Dream Spacecraft;cid=1114129887
India's first mission to moon 'Chandrayaan I' this year, manned mission to earth's satellite in 2014, landing on Mars in 2020 and perhaps colonisation of the red planet later. That's Indian space think tank's list of missions for the future. ..

"The day time temperatures are about 20 degrees Celsius though night time temperatures are low. We should be able to build an atmosphere without much problem. Then, we could send half our population there," said Physical Research Laboratory council chairman and former Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chief
"We should be able to build an atmosphere without much problem. Then, we could send half our population there,"


I suppose if you have the means to lob 300+ million people into space (presumably safely), then building an atmosphere is relatively simple.
Only three months from the next lunar mission.
Chandrayaan 1 could launch in September
Now NET second week of October.

Times of India article
Hey, Lunar enthusiasts, wake up!

Launch now sheduled for October 22 smile.gif
I just finished doing some quick little animations for the C1XS team. It's not a great 3d model of Chandrayaan-1 (it was quite hard to get good details) but the X-Ray spectrometer looks good thanks to help from RAL. It's a bit annoying that the quality of bump maps/textures for the moon is much worse than for Mars - we need this flotilla (Kaguya, Chang-e 1, Chandrayaan-1 and LRO ) to do their thing before we can have realistic data to make better animations . Meanwhile -a few stills attached, I'll leave it up to the C1XS team to release the finished thing. No - it's not vacuuming up skittles....those are Xrays silly biggrin.gif

It should make it on ESA's coverage of the launch ( they are involved with C1XS ), the C1XS website, and maybe the national media here in the UK will pick it up as well
Phil Stooke

I understand the Impact Probe is targeted for Malapert Mountain - this might only be a provisional target, and there may be others. If we have any Indian members who can say more, it would be nice to hear from them. There will be images during the descent, but not full video. Nevertheless there should be a good close look at the surface before the end.

While looking around for Chandrayaan-1 information recently I stumbled across this site, which seems to be enthusiast-maintained. They have a forum -- might be a good place to ask such questions. The site's in English but presumably the people making the site can read the Hindi-language websites and newspapers.

Yay - cleared for public release smile.gif 9.3 meg small version - 50 meg 720p High Def MP4 version

A press release will probably follow, along with the movies going up on the RAL C1XS website.

I, for one, really appreciate that ...YAY

C1XS Team Launch Animations To celebrate the launch event the C1XS team proudly present an animation visualizing the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in transit from the Earth to the Moon and the C1XS instrument conducting lunar science.

Versions of the animation are available to download:

High Definition MOV :
High Definition MP4:
Standard Definition MOV :
iPod/iPhone version:

These animations were commissioned by RAL (STFC) and kindly produced by Doug Ellison who made the animations in gratis to help promote British involvement in space science. The C1XS team are grateful for all his efforts.

The movies were produced using CAD and photographs of the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft and the C1XS instrument. For more details or for further information please contact Doug Ellison at

These animations are available to be used by the press - please credit Doug Ellison/RAL.

Just added some details here :
Phil Stooke

The Moon Impact Probe has now been targeted for the rim of Shackleton crater, according to an article in The Hindu online. There should be images on the way down. This will happen after entry into orbit, in mid-November.

Wahayyy smile.gif

I'll be going to the live launch event at RAL near Oxford on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning next week smile.gif

Photo Gallary of CHANDRAYAAN-1
Chandrayaan-1 Live Webcast 22nd Oct 2008 0550-0650 Hrs(IST) ?
More info about India's Moon Mission.
The lunar spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 is scheduled to blast off aboard an Indian-built rocket at 6:20am IST (0050 GMT) on Wednesday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in southern Tamil Nadu state.
There is book written by Pallava Bagla titled "Destination Moon" which has all the information about Chandrayaan.
On a lighter note..

To keep the odds in their favor, some scientists make pilgrimages to the famous Venkateswara temple in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, with a small bronze replica of the payload. The model is sprinkled with holy water and placed in front of an idol of Vishnu to be blessed for success.

"Once you are airborne there is not time to make changes," said Rajeev Lochan, assistant science secretary of ISRO. "Maybe it helps to have the divine in your corner."

India is getting ready with Deep Space Network too...for future missions to comets/asteroids/mars.

ISRO recently established a 32-meter diameter antenna at Byalalu near Bangalore for providing tracking and command support for Chandrayaan-I.

The antenna and associated systems are the first steps in building the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN), that is vital for facilitating a two-way radio communication link between the spacecraft and the earth.

The DSN-32 project will provide ISRO the capability to handle deep space missions besides allowing it to extend cross-support to similar missions by other nations because of its inter-operable features, world standards specifications and state-of-the-art capabilities.


Bits of my anim in there (wooot!) and video of the spacecraft before LV integration.

QUOTE (Bhas_From_India @ Oct 20 2008, 08:18 AM) *
India is getting ready with Deep Space Network too...for future missions to comets/asteroids/mars.

First, I am thankful to find this thread of forum with wealth of information, but I was not able to find some specific questions.
Would you be kind to let us know?

  1. There is only one DSN in Bangalore? Then, if it is so, Bangalore will only be able to track on it only for less than 14 days.
  2. Is the launch orbit path from the Earth is on the Equatorial path toward to Moon?
  3. Will Chandrayaan 1 enter on Polar orbit of Moon?

Many thanks

1. Check this for Telemetry and Tracking Info:
Looks like Existing N/Ws, New DSN at Byalalu and External DSNs would be used.

2. Check here.
From "" It looks like Equatorial.

3. Mission Objectives at ISRO website says....
=> " To realise the integration and testing, launching and achieving lunar polar orbit of about 100 km "
So, Lunar Polar Orbit it is.

India’s moon mission countdown continues in heavy rain

It was raining heavily at India’s spaceport Sriharikota Tuesday morning as scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) continued their countdown for the launch of the country’s first mission to the moon.Though the ISRO scientists have said only a cyclone would put off their scheduled launch, there were signs of anxiety about the weather, even as the countdown proceeded smoothly.

“The filling of liquid propellant in the fourth stage, charging gas bottles and pressurising them got over at 2 a.m. today (Tuesday). Next major activity is the filling up of the second stage with liquid propellant,” M.Y.S. Prasad, associate director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre told IANS from Sriharikota, off the Andhra Pradesh coast and about 80 km from here.

The 40-tonne fuel-filling activity will start at 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon and is scheduled to be completed by 10 p.m.

Speaking about the weather, he said: “It is not what we want. Nevertheless the launch activities are progressing as scheduled.”

Full Story:
QUOTE (SpaceListener @ Oct 21 2008, 02:09 AM) *
for less than 14 days.

Hint for you - radio dishes work when it's daytime smile.gif That dish will have radio visibility for probably a good 10 hours a day I would have thought.

un-necessary quote removed - admin

Also, Looks like NASA is chipping in with tracking ...

In addition to the two science instruments, NASA said it will provide space communications support to Chandrayaan-1.
The primary location for NASA's ground tracking station will be at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

Full Story :
FWIW - The Canberra DSN will be using two of its antennas for launch support.
Initial acquisition during spacecraft spin up and booster separation - UTC 0115-0125 nominal.
Acquisition will be tricky, Chandrayaan-1 will be very close to the local horizon and the track will only be for 10 minutes.

We will then provide uplink and downlink support over the following two days for 4-10 hours per day.
We may be called upon again to provide support but as I understand it, the Goldstone DSN will be providing some of the cruise tracking support, along with the JHU antenna.

Looking forward to a successful mission.

Thanks for all the news tips Bhas.

Glad to share the updates, Astro0.

Fingers crossed at Chandrayaan launch site - October 21, 2008 14:58 IST

Intermittent rains in Nellore district which houses Shriharikota may not affect the launch of India's first moon mission, Chandrayan-1. Indian Space Research Organisation officials told that the mission will take off on time and the weather may not be a factor.
Due to bad weather the countdown for the launch of the mission started two hours behind schedule on Monday.

ISRO officials are optimistic that the launch will take place at 0620 hrs on October 22 as per schedule. Nearly 1000 scientists are working overtime in Shriharikota to ensure that the launch is smooth. The countdown process was also supervised personally by ISRO chairman, Madhavan Nair on Monday.

ISRO officials say that the PSLV rocket can sustain a slight drizzle but there could be a problem in case of a heavy downpour at the time of the launch. Everyone at Shriharikota is keeping their fingers crossed so that the weather remains fine and does not play spoilsport during this historic event. ISRO officials say that they hope that there is fine weather. The meterorology department of ISRO is closely monitoring the situation. Only a cyclonic storm or heavy lightning can hold up the launch, they say.

The successful launch of the Chandrayan-1 will prove to be a major step towards achieving another dream and that is to have a manned mission.

M C Dathan, director at the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre, Shriharikota Range says that a preliminary study in this regard has been done and submitted to the Space Commission. Although the proposal has been cleared by the Space Commission, it is pending approval from the government.

Dathan adds that the proposal is likely to be cleared in two months. Sources say that a manned mission to the moon will be a reality by 2015 and ISRO plans to develop a training facility in this regard at Bangalore.

NOTE: Found the following information in one of local sites and was not sure if the link will be active for long time...So posting entire content here.

Chandrayaan-1: The Course It Takes From Sriharikota To The Lunar World
India's first lunar orbitor, Chandrayaan-1, will travel about 4,00,000 kilometres outside the Earth's atmosphere to capture the "beautiful secrets" of the Moon. But astrophysicists at ISRO will have to wait for at least 18 days to get the first close-up pictures of the lunar terrain from Chandrayaan-1.

Not until November 8, Chandrayaan-1 will reach its designated orbit around the Earth's only natural satellite, at a safe but close distance of 100 km from the Moon. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C11 blasts off from Sriharikota island in Nellore district in the early morning of October 22 carrying Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. The PSLV-C11 will leave the spacecraft at a point in space, 250 km from the Earth at its closest (perigee) and 23,000 km at its farthest (apogee).

According to the celestial schedule drawn up by ISRO team, after circling the Earth in its initial orbit for a while, Chandrayaan-1 is taken into two more elliptical orbits whose apogees lie still higher at 37,000 km and 73,000 km respectively. "This is done at opportune moments by firing the spacecraft's Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) when the spacecraft is near perigee. Subsequently, LAM is fired again to take the spacecraft to an extremely high elliptical orbit whose apogee lies at about 3,87,000 km," says the ISRO's plan of action.

In this orbit, the spacecraft makes one complete revolution around the Earth in about 11 days. During its second revolution around the Earth in this orbit, the spacecraft will approach the Moon's north pole at a safe distance of about a few hundred kilometres since the Moon would have arrived there in its journey round the Earth.

"Once the Chandrayaan-1 reaches the vicinity of the Moon, the spacecraft is oriented in a particular way and its LAM is again fired. This slows down the spacecraft sufficiently to enable the gravity of the moon to capture it into an elliptical orbit. Following this, the height of the spacecraft's orbit around the moon is reduced in steps. After a careful and detailed observation of perturbations in its intermediate orbits around the moon, the height of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft's orbit will be finally lowered to its intended 100 km height from the lunar surface," an ISRO release says.

Later, the Moon Impact Probe will be ejected from Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft at the earliest opportunity to hit the lunar surface in a chosen area. Following this, cameras and other scientific instruments are turned on and thoroughly tested. This leads to the operational phase of the mission. This phase lasts about two years during which Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft explores the lunar surface with its array of instruments that includes cameras, spectrometers and its radar system.
"Chandrayaan: ISRO all set to capture moments live"

“We’ve placed 20 cameras - both video and high-speed still cameras - at strategic points 600 metres away from the Second Launch Pad from where the rocket lifts off. These are remote-operated and will start functioning once the final count-down begins," said K.Chandrasekhar, who heads the photography wing at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota. The cameras will be placed inside special protective cases at varying heights on four lightning-towers surrounding the launch pad. The cameras will be recovered after a safety team gives the go-ahead after the launch.

This apart, photographers will be deployed seven kilometres from the launch pad to snap the 6.20 a.m launch. They will be using cameras with 500 mm to 600 mm zoom lenses.

And it’s not just digital cameras that will be on the job on Wednesday.

The ISRO team is also using conventional 35 mm film-roll cameras.

“In all, we’ve around 22 photographers here for the event. We’ll be using Nikon and Hasselblad cameras to capture the launch"

>> I Hope to upload the pictures as and when they are available.

The launch pad of the Chandrayaan.
QUOTE (djellison @ Oct 21 2008, 03:02 AM) *
Hint for you - radio dishes work when it's daytime smile.gif That dish will have radio visibility for probably a good 10 hours a day I would have thought.


Yea, I realized I made a pair of mistakes due to reasons a pair points. I forgot the Earth's rotation (you mentioned) and also the spacecraft will be in the Moon polar orbit so its signal to Earth will break every time when it is on the far side. Well, it is all very nice to recognize the mistakes that is the best way to learn. cool.gif
Well done BBC

Talks about the 'dark' side of the moon ( there is no such thing )
and puts a credit of ISRO on the image - when is should be Doug Ellison / RAL.

The still was lifted from page 1 of this thread as well.

QUOTE (djellison @ Oct 21 2008, 08:51 AM) *
Well done BBC...
Talks about the 'dark' side of the moon ( there is no such thing )

From the article: Chandrayaan will also investigate the differences between the Moon's near side and its "dark side".

"Dark side," put in quotes, just refers to a lack of familiarity, in the same sense that referring to Africa as the "dark continent" was never meant to imply that the sun never rose there. The image accreditation is another matter.
QUOTE (djellison @ Oct 21 2008, 01:51 PM) *
...puts a credit of ISRO on the image - when is should be Doug Ellison / RAL.

The BBC has now updated the credit on the image.
And tweaked the nearside/darkside text as well smile.gif
Emily mentioned the webcast in the PS Blog...
Here's the direct link:


PS: Just adding to post higher above. The Canberra DSN will also be providing tracking support later today between 0600-1130 UTC.
The video stream is also available at
3 minutes to go...very exciting....hope it will be successful..
Jason W Barnes
Ack -- we can't get the broadcast feed to work. Requesting liveblog updates from anyone who can see the feed! Is it working?

- Jason W. Barnes
Phil Stooke
Launched successfully!

Launch went far...
3rd stage in progress...
4th stage ignition went successfully.

Velocity - 7.326km/s
5 minutes in to flight
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