April 4, 2020

Astro-Vid Of the Week: The Launch of Chandrayaan-1

NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, one of several instruments that flew aboard Chandrayaan-1. (Credit: NASA/JPL).

Five years ago on this day, India reached for the Moon with the launch of Chandrayaan-1.  The PSLV-XL rocket lifted off from Satish Dhawan space center at 00:52 Universal Time, and reached an orbit around the Moon 18 days later.

This represented a first for the Indian Space Research Organization. Chandrayaan-1 carried 11 science payloads, which included five Indian science packages and 6 foreign instruments, including two funded by NASA. Chandrayaan (meaning Moon-craft in Hindi) produced over 70,000 3-D images covering 70% of the lunar surface, gave us high-resolution spectral data concerning lunar mineralogy, and most importantly, provided compelling evidence for water ice in the permanently shadowed polar regions of the Moon. [Read more...]

29.03.11: Lunar Lava-Tubes.

Living on the Moon will be a tough proposition for future astronauts. With lunar daylight stretching for two terrestrial weeks, astronauts and equipment will have to be prepared for swings in temperature from +120 to -180 Celsius in the shade.

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