Short essay on Chandrayan-1 – the unmanned spacecraft to moon



The space race in mainly America, Russia and other European Countries were participants, generally other countries such as developing country did not attracts attention towards space race. India has jumped into the space race. India has broken the monopoly of Super Powers in space and is ready to face many new challenges of space.

India has launched a unmanned spacecraft (Moon Vehicle) to moon. The spacecraft was launched by a modified version of the PSLVXL from Satish Dhawan Space Centre Shri Harikota, Andhra Pradesh. Chandrayan-1 is India's first mission to the moon by India's National Space Agency-Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). We had gained a new achievement in the scope of space science on 22 October 2008 when India is sixth country to launch spacecraft to moon but our solid success achievements and preparations made for spacecraft Chandrayan-1 have raised the ray of hope in space science.

The work that was started by former Soviet Union and U.S.A. in twentieth century. India will be proved the next link in that chain definitely. The success in our space science in present time will be proved milestone in this direction. Chandrayan-1 was launched on 22 October 2008 at 6.22 am IST from Satish Dhawan Space Centre using ISRO's 44.4 metre tall four stage PSLV launch rocket. Chandrayan-1 took 15 days to reach the lunar orbit. ISRO's telemetry, tracking and command network (ISTRAC) at Peenya in Bangalore will be tracking and controlling Chandrayan-1 over the next two year of its life span. Since its launch, Chandrayan-1 has performed several engine burns, moving it into the designated geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) around earth and has successfully communicated with base centre.

Once in GTD Chandrayan-1 on board, motor will be fired to increase its orbit around the earth. This orbit will take the spacecraft to the vicinity of the moon. The spacecraft will rotate for about five and half days before firing the engine to slow its velocity for moon's gravity to capture it. As the spacecraft approaches the moon, its speed will be reduced to enable the gravity of the moon to capture it into an elliptical orbit. A series of engine burns will then lower its orbit to its intended 100 km circular polar orbit. Following this the Moon Impact Probe (MIP) will be ejected from Chandrayan-1 and all the scientific instruments/pay loads are commissioned.

Chandrayan-1 completed four orbits around the earth on 23, October. The working of spacecraft is normal and (it is) doing fine. Spinning in elliptical orbit once is every six hours and 30 minuts, it has completed four orbits and is in the fifth orbit. The first orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayan-1 space craft was performed at 9.00 hours 1ST on 23 October 2008 when the spacecraft 440 Newton Liquid Engine was fired for about 18 minutes by commanding the spacecraft from Space Craft Control Centre (SCC) at ISRO Telemetry, tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Peenya, Bangalore Chandrayan-1 spacecraft takes about eleven hours to go around the earth once.

The mission includes five ISRO payloads and six payloads from other international space agencies including NASA, ESA and the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency, which are being carried free of cost. The cost of this project is estimated Rs. 3.86 billion. This project is not an entertainment but has some important aims.