THE MOON” with the history of the early solar system etched on it beckons mankind from time immemorial to admire its marvels and discover its secrets. Understanding the moon provides a pathway to unravel the early evolution of the solar system and that of the planet earth.Through the ages, the Moon, our closest celestial body has aroused curiosity in our mind much more than any other objects in the sky. This led to scientific study of the Moon, driven by human desire and quest for knowledge.
This is also reflected in the ancient verse.
What does Chandrayaan mean?
A: In Sanskrit “Chandra” means moon and “yaan” mean craft or vehicle. So Chandrayaan literally means Moon-craft or Lunar-vehicle.
Exploration of the moon got a boost with the advent of the space age and the decades of sixties and seventies saw a myriad of successful unmanned and manned missions to moon. This was followed by a hiatus of about one and a half-decade.During this period we refined our knowledge about the origin and evolution of the moon and its place as a link to understand the early history of the Solar System and of the earth.
However, new questions about lunar evolution also emerged and new possibilities of using the moon as a platform for further exploration of the solar system and beyond were formulated. Moon again became the prime target for exploration and a new renaissance of rejuvenated interest dawned. All the major space faring nations of the world started planning missions to explore the moon and also to utilize moon as a potential base for space exploration.
|What is the temperature on the moon?|
|Is there any Life on moon?|
|So far none of the lunar missions have detected any signature of presence of life on the Moon.|
|Why do we see only one side of the Moon?|
|As the Moon orbits, it always presents the same side towards the Earth. This is so because Earth’s gravity has slowed the Moon’s rotation so that it just matches the time it takes to go around the Earth. So the Moon takes the same amount of time to revolve around the Earth as it takes to rotate around its spin axis.|
INDIA’S FIRST MISSION TO MOON
The idea of undertaking an Indian scientific mission to Moon was initially mooted in a meeting of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1999 that was followed up by discussions in the Astronautical Society of India in 2000. Based on the recommendations made by the learned members of these forums, a National Lunar Mission Task Force was constituted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Leading Indian scientists and technologists participated in the deliberations of the Task Force that provided an assessment on the feasibility of an Indian Mission to the Moon as well as dwelt on the focus of such a mission and its possible configuration.
The task force recommended that given the technical expertise of ISRO it will be extreme worthwhile to plan an Indian Mission to the Moon. It also provided specific inputs such as the primary scientific objectives of such a mission, plausible instruments to meet these objectives, launch and spacecraft technologies that need to be developed and suggested the need for setting up of a Deep Space Network (DSN) station in India for communication with the lunar orbiting spacecraft. The team also provided a provisional budgetary estimate.
The Study Report of the Task Team was discussed in April 2003 by a peer group of about 100 eminent Indian scientists representing various fields of planetary & space sciences, earth sciences, physics, chemistry, astronomy, astrophysics and engineering and communication sciences. After detailed discussions, it was unanimously recommended that India should undertake the Mission to Moon, particularly in view of the renowned international interest on moon with several exciting missions planned for the new millennium. In addition, such a mission will provide the needed thrust to basic science and engineering research in the country including new challenges to ISRO to go beyond the Geostationary orbit. Further, such a project will also help bringing in young talents to the arena of fundamental research. The Academia, in particular, the university scientists would also find participation in such a project intellectually rewarding.
Subsequently, Government of India approved ISRO’s proposal for the first Indian Moon Mission, called Chandrayaan-1 in November 2003.
On November 14, India succeeded in landing a space probe on the surface of the Moon. The probe was launched from an orbiter, Chandrayaan-1 (Sanskrit for moon-vehicle), circling 100 km above the Moon that had reached lunar orbit on November 8.
Launched by the Indian Space Research Organization on October 22, Chandrayaan-1 marked India’s first effort to reach the Moon. India joins a small group of nations that have reached the moon, and one of only three nations currently with orbiters around it.
Chandrayaan-1 will remain in orbit for two years in order to conduct a comprehensive geological survey of the Moon’s surface.
It has already begun supplying high resolution images of the Moon’s surface which excites those seeking independent verification of what exactly is on the Moon’s surface.
One interesting aspect of this mission is that a large majority of the people world wide are eagerly waiting to examine the collections of data’s and images captured by Chandrayan’s mission to verify the earlier moon landing projects.
As the moon landing controversy is still evident after 40 years since man first landed on moon.
On July 20th, 1969 our lives changed forever. This was not due to any disastrous event that took place here on Earth, but an amazing event that took place in the heavens, when the first man walked on that wondrous thing people had gazed at and wondered about for centuries – the moon. Our world was changing at that time in leaps and bounds. It was a time of endless possibilities. Many people think of this as a moon landing hoax or the first man on the moon hoax. In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, some people still believe that the landing of a man on the moon was a trick of television.
landing on Moon?
Chandrayaan-I is an orbiter which will revolve around the moon in a circular orbit and take high resolution pictures of lunar surface. It will however carry a 30 kg probe that will penetrate the lunar surface
How long it will take to reach the moon?
A: The journey to moon will take around 5 and a half day.
|How close to Moon will Chandrayaan-1 come while orbiting the Moon?|
|Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft will be in a 100 km polar orbit around the Moon.|
Q: How long it revolve around the moon?
A: Over 2 years
Q: Which is the nodal agency for this mission?
A: Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is spear heading this effort. Premier research institutes of India like Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), Raman Research Institute (Bangalore), Physical Research Laboratory are involved in developing various payloads that will be used on board the spacecraft.
How heavy or light is the satellite?
A: The remote sensing satellite will weigh 1304 kg. The initial orbit mass is 590 kg and the dry mass is 504 kg. The satellite will be cube shaped measuring 1.5 m on sides.
How much this mission costs?
A: The total mission cost is Rs. 380 Crore
Q: Are other countries partnered India in this mission?
A: Yes. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of USA, European Space Agency (ESA) and Bulgarian Aerospace Agency are partnered India in this mission.
|How is the spacecraft powered?|
The spacecraft for lunar mission is cuboid in shape with each side approximately 1.50 metres. It accommodates eleven science payloads. The 3-axis stabilised spacecraft uses two star sensors, gyros and four reaction wheels.
A canted single-sided solar array will provide the required power during all phases of the mission. This deployable solar array consisting of a single panel generates 700W of peak power. The solar array along with yoke was stowed on the south deck of the spacecraft in the launch phase. During eclipse, the spacecraft was powered by lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. After deployment, the solar panel plane was canted by 30º to the spacecraft pitch axis.
The spacecraft employs an 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.
The spacecraft uses a bipropellant integrated propulsion system to reach the lunar orbit as well as orbit and attitude maintenance while orbiting the moon. The propulsion system carries the required propellant for a mission life of two years, with adequate margin.
The telemetry, tracking and command communication is in S-band frequency. The scientific payload data transmission is in X-band frequency.
The spacecraft has three solidstate recorders (SSRs) on board to record data from various payloads. SSR-1 will store science payload data and has capability of storing 32GB data. SSR-2 will store science payload data along with spacecraft attitude information (gyro and star sensor), satellite housekeeping and other auxiliary data. The storage capacity of SSR-2 is 8 GB. M3 (moon mineralogy mapper) payload has an independent SSR with 10GB capacity.
The Chandrayaan-1 mission is aimed at high-resolution remote sensing of the moon in visible, near-infrared, low-energy X-ray and high-energy X-ray regions.
The indigenously developed payloads are:
1. Terrain-mapping stereo camera in the panchromatic band, having 5m spatial resolution and 20km swath
2. Hyper-spectral imaging camera operating in the 400-950nm band with a spectral resolution of 15 nm and spatial resolution of 80 metres with a swath of 20 km
3. Lunar laser-ranging instrument with height resolution of about 10 metres
4. High-energy X-ray spectrometer using cadmium-zinc-telluride (CdZnTe) detector in the 30-250 keV energy region with spatial resolution of 40 km
5. Moon impact probe as piggyback on the main orbiter of the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft which impacted on the surface of the moon
The imported payloads on-board Chandrayaan-1 are:
1. Chandrayaan-1 X-ray spectrometer through ESA—a collaboration between Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the UK and ISRO Satellite Centre, ISRO. Part of this payload was redesigned by the ISRO to suit scientific objectives of Chandrayaan-1
2. Near-infrared spectrometer (SIR-2) from Max Plank Institute, Lindau, Germany, through ESA
3. Sub-keV atom-reflecting analyser through ESA, from Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Sweden, and Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO. The data processing unit of this payload was designed and developed by the ISRO, while Swedish Institute of Space Physics developed the payload
4. Radiation-dose monitor from Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
5. Miniature synthetic aperture radar (MiniSAR) from Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, and Naval Air Warfare Centre, USA, through NASA
6. Moon mineralogy mapper from Brown University and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA, through NASA
A space probe is a scientific space exploration mission in which a robotic spacecraft leaves the gravity well of the earth and approaches the moon or enters interplanetary or interstellar space; approximately twenty are currently existant. The space agencies of the USSR (now Russia and Ukraine), the United States, the European Union, Japan and China have in the aggregate launched probes to several planets and moons of the solar system as well as to a number of asteroids and comets.
A space probe destined for a planet or other astronomical body can be classified as a ‘flyby,’ ‘impactor,’ ‘orbiter’ or ‘lander’ mission. Historically, flyby missions proved easiest to accomplish, as these did not require the precise navigation needed for an impact, nor the additional propulsion to conduct a manoeuvre to enter the orbit. Upon landing some landers have released ‘rovers,’ which travel across the surface of the astronomical body upon which they have landed.
Once a probe has left the vicinity of the earth, its trajectory is likely to take it along an orbit around the sun similar to the earth’s orbit. To reach another planet, the conceptually simplest means is to execute a Hohmann transfer orbit manoeuvre.
More complex techniques, such as gravitational slingshots, can be more efficient, though these may require the probe to spend more time in transit. A technique using very little propulsion, but possibly requiring a considerable amount of time, is to follow a trajectory on the interplanetary transport network.
|Is there water-ice present on the Moon?|
|The comets and meteorites continuously bombard the surface of the Moon. Many of these objects contain water and as a result of their impact may leave water molecules on the lunar surface. Solar wind hydrogen bombarding the lunar surface continuously may also lead to production of water molecule through interaction with oxygen present in the lunar soils. Due to solar heating much of this water evaporate and lost into space very fast. However, the current hypothesis is that some of the water molecules may reach areas that are permanently shadowed from sunlight and gets trapped and significant traces of water/water ice may be present in such regions of the Moon.|
|Due to the very slight “tilt” (~ 1.5°) of the Moon’s axis, some of the deep craters particularly near the polar regions never receive any light from the Sun – they are permanently shadowed and can act as permanent trap of water molecules and in such craters scientists expect to find water in frozen form, if it is there at all.|
|The Radar reflectivity experiments performed by Clementine hinted at the possibility of existence of large amounts of water frozen on these permanently shadowed regions of the moon.|
|Lunar Prospector’s neutron spectrometer detected bursts of slow neutrons over the moon’s poles, suggesting presence of hydrogen atoms and hence possible presence of water/ice. However, these experiments could not decisively confirm the presence of water/ice on moon, which still remains a mystery.|
|If there is water ice present on the Moon then we would not have to transport water from Earth to the Moon, which would be extremely expensive. But instead will be able to rely on lunar ice. This is important for a cost-effective lunar habitation.|
The Chandrayaan-1 mission is aimed at high-resolution remote sensing of the moon in visible, near-infrared, low-energy X-ray and high-energy X-ray regions. Specifically, the objectives are:
1. To prepare a three-dimensional atlas (with a high spatial and altitude resolution of 5-10 metres) of both near and far sides of the moon
2. To conduct chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface for distribution of elements such as magnesium, aluminium, silicon, calcium, iron and titanium with a spatial resolution of about 25 km and high-atomic-number elements such as radon, uranium and thorium with a spatial resolution of about 20 km
Simultaneous photo geological and chemical mapping will enable identification of different geological units, which will test the early evolutionary history of the moon and help in determining the nature and stratigraphy of the lunar crust.
One of those most excited by the Chandrayaan-1 mission is Richard C. Hoagland who has spent decades analyzing NASA images of the Moon and Mars. In his 2008 book,Dark Mission, Hoagland claimed that NASA, through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has systematically covered up or altered satellite imagery data pointing to the existence of extraterrestrial artifacts on both Mars and the Moon.
He furthermore pointed out that NASA is subservient to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) due to the national security provisions found in NASA’s Charter.
I contacted Richard C. Hoagland to get his opinion about the Chandrayaan-1 mission and its significance for his thesis that extraterrestrial artifacts can be found there.
He prefaced his response to my questions by pointing to President-Elect Barack Obama’s statement on October 22 where the latter observed:
“With India’s launch of its first unmanned lunar spacecraft following closely on the heels of China’s first spacewalk, we are reminded just how urgently the United States must revitalize its space program if we are to remain the undisputed leader in space, science, and technology.”
What follows are Richard Hoagland’s responses (R.H.) to my questions (M.S.).
M.S.: Have you any thoughts on how long the NASA-DOD inspired cover up of extraterrestrial artifacts can continue with India and other nations placing orbiters around the moon and probes on it?
R.H.: If Obama (and those behind him …) is truly interested in the new Indian Moon mission, as his very public statement strongly implies (McCain made no such public statement, nor did Bush), then Obama must also suspect (or know!) the “why” for India engaging in this totally “non-economic” major domestic expenditure. And, why it is planning on further, far more expensive future lunar missions with the Russians!
So, whether the “NASA-DOD cover-up of alien artifacts” will continue during the Obama Administration would seem, in part, to involve Obama’s personal knowledge of why the Indians are going to the Moon… and his related, future plans for some kind of a “new relationship” with Russia (Putin).
Short answer: I think we finally have a shot at some real “disclosure” here – if for no other reason than, the more that other international “players” are involved (even if they’re all controlled by one central “source” – “the Families“)… the more opportunity for serious new “data leaks” – planned, or otherwise.
M.S.: How successful will the Indians be in coming up with an independent data base on what’s on the moon’s surface?
R.H.: The Chandrayaan mission is equipped with sensitive, state-of-the-art high resolution equipment – cameras, radar, and a unique instrument designed to specifically record instances of “TLP” (“transient lunar phenomenon” – bright, minutes-long “lights” that have been appearing on the lunar surface for hundreds of years …) close-up from lunar orbit.
We at Enterprise, based on the NASA images, believe that these long-reported “lights” are actually bright, irregular solar reflections from the surviving glass ruins on the Moon seen in those NASA images!
We actually have some quite striking examples in the NASA database of such reflections “from the glass!”
If that is so, the fact that the Indians have specifically sent an instrument into lunar orbit to study and record this long-standing mysterious phenomenon, could be interpreted as strong foreshadowing of their plans to ultimately, publicly, reveal the source of those reflections – once they have their own TLP data: ancient glass ruins on the Moon!
M.S.: How do you anticipate NASA/DOD trying to influence what the Indians put up for the public on their future moon database?
R.H.: the Indian government signed a “memo of understanding” with NASA some years ago, over this Indian Moon Mission [ ]. As a result, there are a couple of NASA experiments flying on the Chandraayan mission, in addition to the Indian experiments, with JPL scientists involved. However, if the Indian government is planning to reveal “the good stuff,” I don’t believe NASA will hold much influence in their larger policy objectives.
Again, it all depends on agreements much higher up “the food chain,” and how much “change” Obama (and the folks behind him …) REALLY are supporting … in the run-up to 2012.
M.S.: Do you consider India as a possible contender for informing the world about artifacts on the moon through satellite imagery?
R.H.: Definitely, yes. The Indian Vedas preserve remarkable hints of the ancient, sweeping, high-tech history of all humanity – from the distant era when both the Moon and Mars (and many other bodies in the solar system) were once inhabited… by our own great, great, great ancestors. If there is to be “disclosure” of these long hidden truths, there would be no more fitting “messenger” than India… if they are “allowed” to make them public by other geopolitical forces acting on them at this time.
Obama’s curious, public “singling out” of India’s new Moon mission… weeks before he was in any position to do anything about it… is a very intriguing sign of what could happen in the coming months….
M.S.: Finally, do you anticipate that those behind the secrecy are fully aware of India disclosing the truth about what’s on the moon’s surface and may try to preempt such a contingency in order not to lose all credibility.
R.H.: That again leads us back to Obama’s public reaction vis a vis the Indian Chandraayan Mission, even BEFORE he was elected. I’m cautiously optimistic at this point that “change” is coming. Who will initiate it (us, out of fear of “loss of face”… or the Indians) is totally up for grabs… again, if it occurs at all.
Allowing India “to do it” has a certain logic behind it. It would give NASA a much-needed “plausible deniability” – in terms of its own, decades-long NASA data and the cover-up; the Indians just had “better, newer equipment”… which allowed scientific proof of what was merely hinted at on NASA’s ~40-year-old images!
As with all other ultimately political decisions, the final decision would seem to depend on how dumb “they” think the rest of us really are… to buy this type of “Indian revelation.” If it comes.
|Chandrayaan beams back 40,000 images in 75 days|
|Chandrayaan-1 has transmitted more than 40,000 images of different types since its launch on October 22, 2008, which many in ISRO believe is quite a record compared to the lunar flights of other nations. ISRO officials estimated that if more than 40,000 images have been transmitted by Chandrayaan’s cameras in 75 days, it worked out to nearly 535 images being sent daily. They are first transmitted to Indian Deep Space Network at Byalalu near Bengaluru, from where they are flashed to ISRO’s telemetry, tracking and command network at Bengaluru.|
Some of these images have a resolution of up to five metres providing a sharp and clear picture of the moon’s surface. In comparison, many images sent by some of the other missions had a 100-metre resolution.
On November 26, The indigenous terrain mapping camera, which was first activated on october 29, 2008, took shots of peaks along with craters. This came as a surprise to ISRO officials because the moon consists mostly of craters.
At first, Chandrayaan-1 reached a highly elliptical orbit. After encircling the earth for a while, the spacecraft was taken into two more elliptical orbits whose apogees were still higher at 37,000 km and 73,000 km, respectively. This all was done at a very precise moment by firing the spacecraft’s liquid apogee motor (LAM) when the spacecraft was near perigee. Subsequently, the LAM was fired to take the spacecraft to a high orbit whose apogee lied at about 387,000 km. When the Chandrayaan-1 reached the vicinity of the moon, the spacecraft was oriented in a particular way and its LAM was fired again to slow down the spacecraft sufficiently to enable the gravity of the moon to acquire it into an elliptical orbit.
About 20 days from the date of launch, Chandrayaan-1 was in the required moon orbit. When the orbital height of Chandrayaan-1 was lowered to its intended 100km height from the lunar surface, the MIP was ejected from Chandrayaan-1 at the earliest on to the lunar surface in a chosen area.
Chandrayaan-1: The Journey
The launch of Chandrayaan-1 took place at 6:22 am Indian Standard Time (00:52 UT) on October 22, 2008 from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, Sriharikota in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh state. Sriharikota is situated at a distance of about 80 km to the North of Chennai.
Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft began its journey from Earth onboard India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C11) and first reached a highly elliptical Initial Orbit (IO). In the Initial Orbit, the perigee (nearest point to Earth) was about 255 km and apogee (farthest point from the Earth) is about 22,860 km.
After circling the Earth in its Initial Orbit for a while, Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was taken to five more elliptical orbits whose apogees were progressively higher a 37,900 km, 74,715 km, 164,600 km, 267,000 km and 380,000 km respectively. This was done by firing the spacecraft’s Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) at opportune moments when the spacecraft was near perigee. During this phase of the mission, the Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC), which is one of the eleven payloads of Chandrayaan-1 carried by spacecraft, was successfully switched ON and it took the pictures of the Earth and Moon. Additionally, Radiation Dose Monitor (RADOM), another payload of Chandrayaan-1, was also switched ON.
As it approached the apogee of its final Earth Bound Orbit at 380,000 km, the spacecraft passed at a distance of about 500 km from the Moon on November 8, 2008 since Moon had arrived there in its journey round the Earth.
At that time, the spacecraft’s LAM was again fired. This slowed down the spacecraft sufficiently to enable the gravity of the moon to capture it into an elliptical orbit whose periselene (nearest point to the moon’s surface) was at 504 km and whose aposelene (farthest point to the moon’s surface) was at 7,502 km.
Following this, the height of the spacecraft’s orbit around the moon was reduced in four steps. As a result of this, the periselene was reduced from 504 km to 200 km, and then to 182 km and finally to 100 km while the aposelene was reduced from 7,502 km to 255 km and then to 183 km and finally to 100 km. Thus, Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft reached its intended operational lunar polar orbit of about 100 km height from the moon’s surface on November 12, 2008. After this, TMC sent excellent images of the lunar surface.
On November 14, 2008, the Moon Impact Probe (MIP), carrying the painting of Indian tricolor on its sides, was separated from the spacecraft and after a 25 minute journey, impacted the lunar surface near the South polar region of the moon at around
20:31 Indian Standard Time (15:01 UT). Following this, the switching ON of the remaining nine payloads began. By mid December 2008, all the payloads had been switched on and tested.
What is the aim of Chandrayaan-2 mission?
The mission aims to understand the chemical composition of Moon by analyzing the soil/rocks. The mission will also analyze the Moon atmosphere.
As the Rs 425-crore much-awaited second Indian moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, tentatively slated for lift off in 2014, is gradually taking shape at various laboratories and workshops throughout the country, scientists and engineers connected with this prestigious programme are firm that some of the mistakes of the previous lunar flight should not be repeated
A brief description of the project
Chandrayaan-2 will consist of the spacecraft and a landing platform with the moon rover. The platform with the rover will detach itself off after the spacecraft reaches its orbit above the moon, and land on lunar. A motorized rover will be released on the moon’s surface from the lander. The location for the lander will be identified using data from Chandrayaan-1 payload (Moon Impact Probe).
The rover will weigh between 30 kg and 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. ISRO may extend the rover’s life by two or three months by configuring the vehicle and its instruments including a battery back-up to go into a low-power mode, with the rover waking up when sunlight streams through. When the sunlight comes, the solar-powered battery cells will be re-charged and the equipment will be switched on one by one for the rover to function for another two weeks. The batteries will be re-charged every two weeks.
The rover will collect rock and soil samples for chemical analysis and send data to Chandrayaan-2, which will transmit the data to Earth.
When is the launch of Chandrayaan-II?
Chandrayaan-2 will be launched on India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) around 2013 time frame. The mission is expected to have an operational life of about 2 years.
What is the cost of Chandrayaan-2 mission?
The Chandrayaan-2 is expected to cost around Rs.425 Crore (US $90 million)
Lunar mission milestones:
|The first leap in Lunar observation was made by Galileo Galilei who used his new invention, the telescope to observe mountains and craters on the lunar surface.|
|The first man-made object to reach the Moon was the unmanned Soviet probe Luna 2 in September 1959. Luna 9 was the first probe to soft land on the Moon in February 1966 and transmit pictures from the lunar surface. The first robotic lunar rover to land on the Moon was the Soviet Lunokhod 1 in November 1970.|
|Humans first landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969. The first man to walk on the lunar surface was Neil Armstrong, commander of the American mission Apollo 11. The last man to walk on the Moon was in December 1972 by Eugene Cernan during Apollo 17 mission.|
|Moon samples have been brought back to Earth by three Russian Luna missions (16, 20, and 24) and the US Apollo missions 11, 12 and 14 through 17.|
|The European Space Agency has launched European spacecraft SMART-1 on September 27, 2003 to explore the Moon, survey the lunar environment and create an X-ray map of the Moon. Japan has launched the lunar orbiter Kaguya (Selene) on September 14, 2007 for observing the distribution of elements and minerals on the lunar surface, study of lunar topography, surface composition, magnetic field and lunar and solar terrestrial environment. China has launched a lunar probe called Chang’e on October 24, 2007 to map lunar surface, measure content and density of lunar soil and explore the environment of the Moon.|
|India plans to launch a lunar orbiter Chandrayaan-1 for simultaneous photogeological mineralogical and chemical mapping of the lunar surface. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) of USA is designed to map the surface of the Moon and Characterise future landing sites in terms of terrain roughness, usable resources, and radiation environment with the ultimate goal of facilitating the return of humans to the Moon.|
- Chandrayaan-2: India to go it alone (thehindu.com)
- Updates on ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission: five instruments to be delivered in March (planetary.org)
- ISRO lines up SARAL for February, restored GSLV for April (thehindu.com)
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