Chandrayan, India's historic moon mission, will be launched between October 22 and October 26.
Director of the Indian Space Research Organisation's Satellite Centre Dr T K Alex and Project Director of the Chandrayan-I mission Dr Anna Durai informed media persons at Bengaluru on Thursday that the exact date for the launch has not been fixed, but the window period is between October 22 and 26.
Chardrayaan-1 is the first Indian Mission to the Moon devoted to high-resolution remote sensing of the lunar surface features in visible, near infrared, X-ray and low energy gamma ray regions. This will be accomplished using several payloads already selected for the mission. In addition a total of about 10 kg payload weight and 10 W power are earmarked for proposals, which are now solicited. The mission is proposed to be a lunar polar orbiter at an altitude of about 100 km and is planned to be launched by 2007-2008 using indigenous spacecraft and launch vehicle of ISRO. The mission is expected to have an operational life of about 2 years.
- Carry out high resolution mapping of topographic features in 3D, distribution of various minerals and 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 unravelling mysteries about the origin and evolution of solar system in general and that of the moon in particular.
- Realize the mission goal of harnessing the science payloads, lunar craft and the launch vehicle with suitable ground support system including DSN station, integration and testing, launching and achieving lunar orbit of ~100 km, in-orbit operation of experiments, communication/telecommand, telemetry data reception, quick look data and archival for scientific utilization by identified group of scientists.
Specific areas of study
- High resolution mineralogical and chemical imaging of permanently shadowed north and south polar region
- 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 and stereographic coverage of most of the moon's surface with 5 m resolution, to provide new insights in understanding the moon's origin and evolution