The Indian Moon probe Chandrayaan 1 has successfully entered into its operational orbit about 100km over the surface of the Moon.
On Friday the Moon Impact Probe was released for a crash landing near the Moon’s South Pole. While diving the impactor sent images and telemetry back to the orbiter, those will be relayed back to Earth at a slower pace. The descent took about 25 minutes and the data will be relayed in the next few days.
Instruments are beginning to be activated, and a new chapter in the lunar exploration is beginning.
The probe has already sent some very good images back, see link below.
Full story from
ISRO’s Chandrayaan website
Lunar images from Chandrayaan
First the Americans and the Russians, then the Japanese and Chinese. Now the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has aimed for the Moon. India is now the fifth country to reach the Moon. Yes, the European Space Agency has done it, too, but that is a consortium of 17 countries, though the size of the population is comparable to that of the USA.
The space craft is “Chandrayaan 1”. The name means “Moon Craft” in the ancient Sanskrit” language of India.
What I like is that the Indians, unlike the Chinese and Japanese, have invited other countries to contribute instruments to the probe. More than half of them are Indian, but NASA has two sensors, ESA has three sensors and Bulgaria has contributed a radiation sensor.
Chandrayaan 1 will help create a map of mineral concentrations all over the Moon, paving the way for the decisions on where to send (manned) expeditions to the Moon.
This and other collaborations is what I think has to be done. Space exploration is expensive, and a single country, however rich, cannot afford to go it alone.
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