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India’s first mission to moon:

Soviet Union (Former USSR) launched their first artificial satellite “Sputnik” in 1957 and that marked the
beginning of the Space Era.

The first unmanned mission Luna-2 was also launched by USSR on 12th Sept 1959 which impacted the
lunar surface. Again in 1965 ZOND-3 photographed lunar far-side. Thus USSR were pioneers in the Space

Later USA also entered in this race and were successful with trials in sending Lunar Missions periodically.
Ultimately Apollo 11 was the first spaceflight that landed humans on the Moon. Mission commander Neil
Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the lunar module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. In the Sea
of Tranquility.

Later on Lunar missions continued from both countries. So far 12 astronauts have walked on and explored
the surface of the moon. They collected soil and rock samples weighing approximately 400 Kgs and brought
it back to earth.
Other countries also took interest in exploring the moon like Japan in 1990, ESA in 2003, and China in 2007
by sending their lunar missions.

By watching all above progress in Space activities our eminent scientist Dr. Vikram Sarabhai saw the
tremendous potential of advanced science and technology. He was an outstanding scientist, an institute
builder, a visionary as well as a dreamer. He is the architect of the Indian Space Programme.

He expressed unambiguously that “We must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies
to the real problems on man and society”.

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai (1919 -1971) laid a firm foundation for the Indian Space Programme. Under his
leadership ISRO was founded at Thumba, located at the west coast of India near Thiruvananthapuram in
Later on the launching sight has been shifted to Shriharikota Island on east coast. It is about 100 Kms.
north of Chennai. The site covers an area of 14500 hectares.
The first rocket from SHAR was launched in October 1971. Second launching pad is also now ready with
a tower of about 60 Mts. height.
The first Indian satellite ‘Arya-Bhatt’ was launched in 1975.It weighed 375 Kgs. It was launched by USSR
into a 594 Km orbit. Aryabhatt was born in 476AD in Kerala. He was the first to deduce that ‘the earth is
round and it rotates on its own axis resulting in day and night’. He was an eminent mathematician too. He
gave the value of TT as 3.1416, claiming for the first time, that it was an approximation.
Since then India launched several satellites and established by 1983 a multipurpose system for
telecommunications, television broadcasting, and radio networking, meteorology and disaster warning.

Indian Launch Vehicles development:

In the initial stages India developed satellites which were launched in space through foreign agencies
like NASA, USA, USSR, ESA (European Space Agency). This was a very costly game.
So ISRO decided to develop their own launching vehicles. They started with SLV – 3(), ASLV (). Later on
Polar Satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) was developed and commissioned in 1994. Geo Synchronous Satellite
Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark -1 commissioned in 2003. Later on GSLV-MARK2 was developed. At present
GSLV-MARK3 is under development. PSLV is the most successful launch vehicle with a success rate of over
@90%. It is much cheaper than NASA’s vehicles. Further we are using it for launching not only our satellites
but also foreign manufactured (FMD) satellites along with our satellites. Only in June 2016 we launched
in all 20 satellites at a time and made a record. It is called a work-horse in the world today. These launchers
are assembled at SHAR.

ISRO satellite center (ISAC) was formed at Bangalore (1975) to build our own satellites. So far it has
developed and launched 39 satellites of which 17 of them are in service today (7 for remote sensing, 8 for
communication, 1 for meteorology and a small satellite HAMSAT for amateur radio).

So far India has acquired vast experience in developing and launching operational space craft systems for
survey and management of natural resources, meteorological services and satellite communication.

This experience is very much useful to take up planetary missions with well thought out scientific
objectives. Based on an idea of Indian mission to the moon was mooted in the year 2000. A group of more
than 100 eminent Indian scientists was formed and started working on the mission in 2003. Govt. of India
approved the proposal on Moon mission in November 2003.

1. Preparing 3 dimensional atlas of the lunar surface.
2. Chemical and mineralogical mapping of entire lunar surface.
These objectives will provide scientific knowledge about moon, upgrading India’s technological capability
and providing challenging opportunities for planetary research for the younger generation.

Considering the success and maturity of PSLV, it was chosen for the first lunar mission. Up till then PSLV
had launched 9 remote sensing satellites, 2 micro satellites (HAMSTAT and IMS-1) and 14 small satellites
for foreign customers etc. successfully. PSLV-C1 is the upgraded version of PSLV to inject 1380 Kg mass
into a 257 X 22,858 Kms orbit. 45 Mtrs tall with a lift-off mass of 295 Tons. Payload capacity – 1600Kg.
PSLV has 4 stages using a solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately. 6 strap-on motors augment the
first stage thrust. These strap-on motors carry 4 Ton more propellant. There is also increase in the length
of each strap-on motor. It has to eject a space craft weighing about 675 Kgs.

It is a cuboid of approximate 1.5Mtrs side, weighing about 675Kgs at lunar orbit. It is a 3 axis stabilized
spacecraft. A single canted solar array will provide the required power. The panel generates @750Watts.
This will be supported by a Lithium Ion Battery during eclipse operation. After deployment the panel is
canted by 30 degrees to the spacecraft pitch axis.
The spacecraft has a X-band, 0.7 Mtrs. diameter parabolic dish antenna for payload data transmission to
earth. The antenna is required to track the earth station, when the spacecraft is in lunar orbit.
The spacecraft uses a bi-propellant integrated propulsion system to carry it to lunar orbit as well as to
provide orbit and attitude maintenance, while at moon. The system will carry required propellant for a
mission life of 2 years with adequate margin.
The spacecraft has 3 solid-state recorders (SSRS) on board to record data from various payloads.

SSR-2 will also store science data along with spacecraft attitude information (gyro and star sensors).
Satellite housekeeping data and other auxiliary data. SSR-2 is designed to collect and store data for 7 non-
visible orbits with respect to IDSN Bangalore.
The ground segment for Chandrayaan mission comprises of 3 major elements.
 IDSN - Indian Deep Space Network
 MOX –Mission Operations Complex
 ISSDC – India Space Science Data Center.

This trio of ground facility assure the success of the mission by providing to and fro conduit of
communication. Securing good health of the spacecraft, maintaining the orbit and attitude to the
requirements of the mission and conducting payload operations.

IDSN consists of a 18 Mtrs. And 32 Mtrs. antennae established at the campus, Bayalalu, Bangalore. The
payload data will be transmitted to ISSDC as and when received.
Mission activities will be conducted from MOX. The center maintains an archive of all satellite operations,
health special operations, attitude/orbit maneuvers, anomalies and recoveries.

Storing Capacity in Gb of data

SSR-1 32 Gb
SSR-2 8 Gb
SSR-3 10 Gb
In all 50 Gb data can be stored.

Mission Profile:
Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft would be launched from space center SHAR by PSLV-XN (PSLV- C 11) in a highly
elliptical initial orbit (IO) with perigee of 275 Kms. and Apogee of about 22000 to 22853 Kms.

After a few revolutions in the initial orbit, the spacecraft’s liquid Apogee motor (LAM) firing will be done,
when the spacecraft is near Perigee, to raise the Apogee to 37,421 Kms. In the next step Apogee will be
raised to 73,925 Kms. next to 199277 Kms, next to 269201 Kms, and next to 386194 Kms.

Once the Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft reaches the vicinity of the moon the spacecraft is slowed down
sufficiently so as to enable the gravity of the Moon captures it into an elliptical orbit (LC). After a careful
and detailed observation the height of the spacecraft’s orbit will be finally lowered to intend 100 Km
circular polar orbit. Following this, the Moon Impact Probe (MIP) would be ejected from Chandrayaan 1
to impact on the lunar surface.

Afterwards, all the scientific instruments / payloads are commissioned sequentially and Chandrayaan 1
spacecraft explores the Moon with its array of instruments for 2 years.

Our mission profile adopted, was for the first time in the world, which proved to be successful with
minimum consumption of fuel cost, though time consuming.
Chandrayaan 1 has a significant international participation with 10 scientific payloads and an impact
probe. The list is attached herewith< attached>.

Out of above 10 payloads 2 C1XS and SARA are developed by ESA jointly with ISRO.

 SIR 2 is from Germany through ESA.

 SARA – Swedish through ESA and ISRO.
 RADOM – from Bulgarian Academy of Science.
 Mini SAR – from Hopkins University and Naval Air warfare center USA through NASA.
 M3 – from Brown University and Jet Propulsion lab USA through NASA

Summary of Prime objectives and Payloads:

Prime Objectives Payloads
Chemical Mapping C1XS, HEX.
Mineralogical Mapping HYSI, SIR-2, M3
Topography Mapping LLRI, TMC.
Radiation Environment RADOM, HEX, C1XS
Magnetic field Mapping SARA
Volatile Transport HEX
Lunar Atmospheric Constituent MIP

Total weight of payloads is about 100 Kgs.

Reaction wheels – provide high stability to spacecraft. Small Rocket engines called Thrusters also help in
orienting the spacecraft.
LAM – 440 N – Main thruster after reaching earth orbit the spacecraft uses its own rocket engine called
LAM, to reach the moon.

After reaching the moon the spacecraft becomes an artificial satellite of that celestial body.

Propellants used are mono-mythiel hydrazine as fuel and mixed oxides of nitrogen (MON-3) as the
oxidizer. These are stored in spacecraft itself. Mission is to be launched on 22nd October 2008, and its life
was 2 years.

Journey to Moon:
Chandrayaan 1 began its journey at 6:22 am on 22nd October 2008, onboard PSLV -11 was launched from
second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Center, SHAR, Sriharikota.

In about 19 minutes the spacecraft reached orbit round earth called Initial Orbit with 255 Kms perigee.

Afterwards it took 6 elliptical orbits around earth with same perigee but increasing Apogee per orbit. It
took 6th orbit with 386194 Kms Apogee and entered into gravity zone of moon at 500Kms from moon on
17th day from launch. Then it took elliptical orbit with 500 Km perigee and 7500 Km apogee. Slowly it
reduced eccentricity of orbit in 4 steps and entered into circular orbit of 500 Kms radius.

Next the radius from moon was reduced slowly to 100 Kms from moon and established in that final orbit.

In this way a bit slow but steady journey was covered by 12th November 2008. On 14th November
important event took place. MIP was separated at 8:06 pm ISI. 25 minutes later at 8:31 pm MIP hit the
lunar surface carrying Indian tricolor.

After Mission:
India became 5th nation to put a spacecraft into Moon orbit. India also joined as the 4th member of the
group of individual countries that had sent a probe to the surface of moon.
14th November happens to be birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first PM of India. This day is also
celebrated as Children’s day in our country. The Indian space program began in 1962 under his prime-
minister ship and encouragement.

The cost of Chandrayaan 1 mission is about 386 Crores(@ 80 Million USD).