Feeds

India's Moon shot takes to the skies

Successful launch of Chandrayaan-1

High performance access to file storage

India's Moon probe Chandrayaan-1 this morning successfully launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, the Indian Space Research Organisation reports.

The $83m mission, carrying a multinational array of kit, was carried aloft atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle at 06:22 Indian Standard Time (00:52 GMT).

Chandrayaan-1's principal science objective is to "conduct mineralogical and chemical mapping of the lunar surface", for which it's carrying eleven science payloads - six homegrown and five contributed by international partners. India's instruments include the Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC), designed to "map topography in both near and far side of the Moon and prepare a three-dimensional atlas with high spatial and altitude resolution"; the Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI) ("to provide ranging data for determining accurate altitude of the spacecraft above the lunar surface"); and the High Energy X-ray Spectrometer (HEX), which is described as "the first experiment to carry out spectral studies of planetary surface at hard X-ray energies using good energy resolution detectors".

NASA's contribution encompasses the Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar (Mini-SAR) - designed to "detect water ice in the permanently shadowed regions on the lunar poles" - and the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), tasked with mapping "lunar surface mineralogy in the context of lunar geologic evolution".

The European Space Agency, meanwhile, is on board with three instruments, including the Sub keV Atom Reflecting Analyser (SARA), which will apparently "image the Moon's surface using low energy neutral atoms as diagnostics".

When it finally arrives at the Moon, Chandrayaan-1 will settle into orbit at an altitude of 100 km for its two-year mission. Among the first tasks on the agenda is the deployment of the 29kg Moon Impact Probe (MIP) which "will be ejected from Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft at the earliest opportunity to hit the lunar surface in a chosen area". ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.