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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Chandrayaan: A giant leap for India

ST Team
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
ST Team
The wee hours of October 22, 2008, marked a historic moment for the entire nation. A large crowd had gathered at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota to cheer the launch of India's maiden lunar mission—Chandrayaan-1. An indigenous project of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the mission has catapulted the country into the league of a select group of nations that already have sojourn with the Earth’s natural satellite-the Moon.

Launched using the PSLV-C11 rocket, an upgraded version of ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, Chandrayaan-1 carried 11 payloads, five entirely designed and developed in India, three from European Space Agency (ESA), one from Bulgaria and two from the U.S., that would explore the moon. The mission aims to undertake remote sensing of the moon in the visible, near infrared, microwave and X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Along with the preparation of a three-dimensional atlas of the lunar surface, identification of future landing sites and exploration of the moon from close range are also envisaged.

Though Chandrayaan is world's 68th lunar mission, Indian space scientists have italised several key messages with its launch. For once, compared to other space-faring nations, ISRO's missions have proved to be cost-effective and technologically far more effective. Chandrayaan cost ISRO $80 million.

Challenges behind the project Chandrayaan is not just any other satellite. "One of the many challenges in building the spacecraft was to accommodate the six overseas pre-built payloads. The spacecraft had to be designed accordingly," says Chandrayaan Project Director Mylswamy Annadurai.

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