Sunday, 12 October 2008

Chandrayaan-1: Objectives of India's Moon Mission

October 12, 2008
By Syed Akbar

Objectives of the Moon Mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation, which has programmed Chandrayaan-1, has manifold ideas behind the mission. The main mission objectives are:

1. to realise the goal of harnessing the science payloads, lunar craft and
the launch vehicle with suitable ground support systems including deep space network station.

2. to realise the integration and testing, launching and achieving lunar
polar orbit of about 100 km, in-orbit operation of experiments, communication/ telecommand, telemetry data reception, quick look data and archival for scientific utilisation by identified group of scientists.

The Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft

The Mission Chandrayaan-1 uses a 3-axis stabilised spacecraft with two star sensors, gyros and four reaction wheels.
The power generation is through a canted single-sided solar array that gives the required power during all phases of the mission. This deployable solar array consisting of a single panel generates 700 watts of peak power. During eclipse spacecraft will be powered by Lithium ion batteries.

The spacecraft employs a 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 lunar orbit as well as orbit and attitude maintenance while orbiting the moon.

The propulsion system carries required propellant for a mission life of two years, with adequate margin.

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