Wednesday, 22 October 2008
Chandrayaan-1: India's Mission To The Moon Successful, Lunar Craft Put Into Orbit
A new era dawns in Indian history. India now joins the World Moon Club. We salute you, India
October 22, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 22: India wakes up to a new dawn on Wednesday as Chandrayaan-1 successfully blasts off to the moon. The first phase of the mission is successful and ISRO scientists have achieved the designed path for the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.
India’s first-ever mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-1, left the earth’s orbit for a close encounter with the lunar world, pushing India into a select group of moon-faring nations alongside the space giants like the US.
The indigenously built rocket, PSLV-C11, took off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Wednesday morning carrying the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, after the weatherman gave his clearance. Sriharikota, where the launch centre is located, had been witnessing inclement weather and there were some doubts about the launch. But ISRO scientists once again proved their capabilities by going ahead with the take-off the clouds and associated dangers notwithstanding.
Things went as planned and the rocket carrying the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft ignited at the fixed muhurat at 6.22 am. The final countdown progressed well and the entire scientific community in the world had set its eyes on the Indian mission to unravel the secrets hidden behind the beauty of the Moon. The Indian lunar craft will move around the Moon for two years transmitting data through radio signals to ISRO and other designated ground centres around the globe.
Chandrayaan-1 pushed India to a select group of moon-faring nations which have drawn up ambitious plans to colonise the earth's only natural satellite in the next couple of decades. Only the USA, Russia, China, Japan and ESA have sent their missions to the own. Incidentally, Chandrayaan-1 is also the first-ever multinational scientific mission outside the earth's vicinity led by a developing nation. Moreover, Chandrayaan-1 is the most technologically advanced mission to the Moon ever sent by man. This explains why even advanced space organisations like NASA and ESA are collaborating with ISRO to share the Moon data.
Once in its designated orbit about 100 km away from Moon, Chandrayaan-1 will be one of the three lunar orbitors presently hovering around the lunar world. The other two orbitors belong to Japan and China. The Americans will send their own lunar orbitor in March next year to join the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in the dark realms of the Moon. The success or otherwise of Chandrayaan-1 will make or mar the future manned missions to the Moon.
ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair congratulated the scientists associated with the project for the success of Chandrayaan-1.
The 1,380-kg Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft thrust into the Space by the indigenous PSLV-C11 rocket at around 6.20 am. It carries scientific equipment supplied by the USA and the ESA. Of the 11 scientific equipment or payloads, five are entirely designed and developed in India, three from European Space Agency, one from Bulgaria and two from the NASA.
Indian Flag on the Moon
سارے جہاں سے اچھا ہندوستاں ہمارا
ہم بلبليں ہيں اس کي، يہ گلستاں ہمارا
सारे जहां से अच्छा हिन्दोस्तां हमारा
हम बुलबुले हैं उसकी ये गुलसितां हमारा
sāre jahāñ se achchā hindostāñ hamārā
ham bulbuleñ haiñ us kī vuh gulsitāñ hamārā
(Better than the entire world, is our Hindustan (India). We are its nightingales, and it (is) our garden abode.)
Chandrayaan-1 will fulfil the ambition of a billion hearts as it carries the
Indian flag in one of its equipment that will be thrust onto the moon surface.
The only other countries that had pegged their national flags on the lunar terrain are the USA, Russia and Japan.
India overtakes its giant neighbour China as far as sending its national flag to the moon is concerned. It was the idea of former president APJ Abdul Kalam that ISRO should include the national flag in the Chandrayaan-1 mission.
Chandrayaan-1 culminates four years of scientific work at ISRO including international cooperation by leading space agencies. More than 1,000 scientists worked day and night to make India's dream mission a reality. The total cost of the project is Rs 386 crore including Rs 100 crore towards establishment charges. But if Chandrayaan-1 finds Helium 3 fuel or water on the moon, India will be able to lay claim on the lunar world when human colonies begin to spring up there. The return will be million times more than what ISRO had invested on the mission.
"Today, as per the international charter, the moon belongs to the global community. Nobody can make special claim on the surface. But in due course, we don't know how things will change. But our presence will be established through this mission," ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair told reporters.
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