India's first moon spacecraft now in orbit

India's first moon spacecraft now in orbit

Thursday, 30 October 2008, 05:34 Hrs   |    34 Comments
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Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh): With a perfect liftoff, India's first spacecraft to the moon entered its scheduled orbit early Wednesday, placing the country in a select group of six. The US, former Soviet Union, European Space Agency, China and Japan have sent spacecrafts to the moon earlier.

Speaking minutes after the successful liftoff from this spaceport about 80 km north of Chennai and off the Andhra Pradesh coast, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Agency (ISRO) G. Madhavan Nair described the moment as "historic. India has started its journey to the moon. The first leg has gone perfectly. the spacecraft has been launched into orbit."

The 44-metre-tall 316-tonne rocket, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C11), had a copybook launch at 6.22 a.m., and completed its mission by placing the lunar orbiter Chandrayaan into its scheduled orbit around the earth within 18 minutes, just as planned.

Nair pointed out that the launch had gone off perfectly despite heavy rain in and around the spaceport for the last four days. "We've been fighting the odds for the last four days," he said. But the weather gods relented Tuesday evening and the launch took place in a clear morning sky.

Chandrayaan started to orbit the earth on its geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), from which its onboard liquid apogee motor (LAM) will be fired to take it to the lunar orbit - 387,000 km from earth - around Nov 8.

Once the 1,380-kg Chandrayaan gets near the moon its speed will be reduced to enable the gravity of the moon to capture it into an elliptical orbit.

At the earliest possible opportunity Chandrayaan will drop its Moon Impact Probe (MIP) which will land on the moon's soil carrying India's flag, among many scientific instruments. After that, the spacecraft will also activate its cameras and other instruments on board.

Chandrayaan will orbit the moon for two years. It carries 11 experimental payloads, five Indian and six from the European Space Agency (3), the US (2) and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (1).

At liftoff, PSLV C11 weighed 22 tonnes more than earlier PSLV models, as its six strap-on motors were 3.5 metres bigger at 13.5 metre and the rocket carried 12 tonnes of solid propellant as against the usual 9 tonnes.

"The vehicle structure was altered to have bigger strap-on motors. The rocket is also padded up with additional thermal insulation," George Koshy, project director, told IANS.
Source: IANS
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Reader's comments(34)
1: There has always been a set of people who have opposed any revolution happening in India... Take an example of computerization of Indian Banks... there was lot of opposition but now people are understanding its usefulness.

Similarly once we prove we are great in space, we can take up commercialized launching tasks which are quite cheaper to French and US launchers. This will add revenue to Indian treasure, increase INR against Dollar/Euro and indirectly benefit the poor.

Nevertheless, don't forget if you turn the money to moon mission to poor, not even 5% will actually reach them. I recently heard about corruption in funds that were meant for our 'Adivasi-brothers'(forest-living poor people of India).

Man, its all about our attitude and not about our missions.
Posted by:Yogendra - 23 Oct, 2008
2: First of all, my wholehearted congratulations to the dedicated ISRO team for having made this, elevating the Indian confidence as a whole.

Here comes my 2 cents to those socialists who worry about the common mass.

Buddies, ISRO is not responsible for the lack of the facilities that you mention in the various departments such as Infrastructure, Health care etc. and with this minuscule spending of 400 crores, nothing big can be achieved in those areas.

ISRO as an organization with bright and focussed minded people, has done their job perfectly achieved their goal. Period.

If there are beggers in the streets, if we have lakhs of starving children, if people are suffering without the adequate health care facilities, if the progress of the nation as a whole is affected by the lack of infrastructure ... mind you, the problem lies with the respective departments, their heads and their corrupt and lazy/dull employees. You can not blame ISRO or defense ministry for the irresponsibile behavior of the other departmental people who have been letting down the country time and again.

What do you think ? Stop all the works that ISRO etc. have been doing and divert that money to the common mass ? Do you think the situation will improve overnight and milk and honey will start flowing in the streets ?

Come on people, wake up from the deep slumber.

India is a multi-cultured, multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic and pluralistic country that has problems that is multi-dimnensional as well.

Stop dreaming that India will shine overnight.

A democratic country such as India WILL take time to reform itself and improve. Yes, the change is slow but steady. Be patient and confident enough and let each of us participate in this transformation instead of being a pessimist finding faults with whatever small/big targets that we achieve.

Last but not the least, we - yes, I am talking about you too - are also equally responsible for the current state of our nation. Think about it.

Posted by:Muthukumar - 23 Oct, 2008
3: This goes to show that we Indians are at the best in any business they undertake. Keep the good work going.

Posted by:VIVEK KURUP - 23 Oct, 2008
4: Congrats for the fantastic work that U n Ur dedicated team done.
Posted by:Pradeep Kr Das - 22 Oct, 2008
5: Dear ISRO Team
Congrats for the fantastic work that U n Ur dedicated team done.U make us(INDIANs) feel proud.
You really done a Great job.
ThanX a Lot ! ISRO TeaM
Posted by:rajes - 22 Oct, 2008
6: Even if it cost a lot, it's worth it. From the other side of the world from India, I am willing to bet that support for it is very strong among the poorest people.
No one is so poor that they can't afford a bright moment to be proud of!
Anyway it's a peaceful project. Just compare it to the unthinkable trillions the USA has spent on destroying Iraq. Come to think of that, when will there be a Muslim moonshot I wonder? Perhaps India and Pakistan could cooperate in space - and end up saving money by cutting back on their military budgets!
Posted by:JP Leonard - 22 Oct, 2008
7: A huge congrats for all the folks worked on this project.

I do hear the comments that money could have been well spent in education, poverty reduction, etc. There are much more higher priority issues that could use this money. If this is the logic, then every county in the world has some or other issues that could be more pressing than lauching spaceships to moon or to space. This logic could have been used for so many invesntions that happened in the past.
This is not to say that issues country is facing are not important, but one need not be sacrificed to meet other needs.
Posted by:Naren - 22 Oct, 2008
8: The remarks about poverty, beggars, illiteracy etc, are uncalled for, and too negative. Those features of Indian society are not going to disappear if there is no moon mission. On the other hand, a moon mission benefits science, enhances India's ability to launch satellites, thereby bringing in foreign exchange, gives India its own data about the moon, and paves the way for larger missions, such as a manned journey, a Mars mission, a space station and, very long term, the concept of space colonies. This is just a step. There is also the intangible quality of inspiration and pride, which can only help India.
Posted by:Varun Shekhar - 22 Oct, 2008
9: What an extraordinary feat for a country like India? A country that has been independent only for around 60 years and had to build most of the infrastructure almost from scratch. Some folks, mainly in the scientific domain, really deserve pat on the back for putting India among the list of very few countries.
A 80 million dollar question though - what are the real objectives of the mission. Is it just to be one of the 6 countries in the world, or to hoist an India flag on the moon or to study the lunar rocks....or is there a strategic goal or objective of this mission. If there is, it hasn't been explained to the Indian public, who are actually paying for such missions. Does the country's leadership see any long term socio-economic benefits from this mission or any benefits that can protect the country's benefits in the long run. None of that is really clear.
It is probably not smart to say that, by doing this, India has entered in some kind of an elite group or we will be able to learn more about lunar rocks. Does India, who is facing issues of such large proportions, in pollution, corruption, poverty, terrorism and others, need to be spending in the area that doesnt seem to have any visible benefits. We did not need to reinvent the wheel. To become a strong country, who can protect itself in the next couple of decades, India needs to focus on the basics. With what is happening in the global stage, India needs to focus on alternative energy sources, sufficiency of food for the ever growing population, predictions and forecasting of the natural disasters, and most important of all the education system of the growing youth. Our narrow focus on theoretical education system, with no focus on fostering the creativity or the leadership in the global level, is likely not going to work going forward, when Indians have to face tougher challenges going forward.
If the country's leadership can reduce the disparity between the two extremes of rich and poor, the privileged and the unfortunate, it will be the biggest win for the country and create a respectable image for itself and the people. The developed countries still look at India, and its people, with a bias, a nation with too much Illiteracy, poverty, corruption, poor and un-sophisticated living conditions, outdated infrastructure, and such.
Wouldn’t it be more wise if our country could make these issues as number one priority in order to create a stronger future on earth rather than spending somewhere that does not have a clear goal or benefits.
Posted by:Kuldeep Kumar - 22 Oct, 2008
10: Dear ISRO team,
Congrats for the fantastic piece of work.
It is a proud and historic moment for all Indians
I am ex ISRO person and based in California.
Indians are second to none and can meet any challenge given to them as long as there is desire and vision, especially among the politicians.

Posted by:Deven Verma - 22 Oct, 2008
11: Rather than boasting on the PSLV launch, the nation needs to address lots of prime issues like infrastructure,health,inequality and other crises. The nations who have particiapted in such missions have a strong foundation when the economy is concerned.

I think to flagg the propaganda of India shining or other such remarks would be very early and too a mockery of what the facts lie under the system.

So, I cleary go with the set of thinkers who see development of basics as the ultimate motive of spending of the exchequer who should channelize the hard earned money of the responsible citizens of the country for meaningful means.

Lets provide the necessities first and then move to luxury.

Anybody listening.
Posted by:Sanjay B Das - 22 Oct, 2008
12: Rather than boasting on the PSLV launch, the nation needs to address lots of prime issues like infrastructure,health,inequality and other crises. The nations who have particiapted in such missions have a strong foundation when the economy is concerned.

I think to flagg the propaganda of India shining or other such remarks would be very early and too a mockery of what the facts lie under the system.

So, I cleary go with the set of thinkers who see development of basics as the ultimate motive of spending of the exchequer who should channelize the hard earned money of the responsible citizens of the country for meaningful means.
Lets provide the necessities first and then move to luxury.
Posted by:Sanjay B Das - 22 Oct, 2008
13: First - kudos to the entire nation on embarking on this journey.
Second - to all those that bring out poverty, beggars - even if you fed them all, they would still beg. case in point look at the case in New Delhi where healthy people would amputate their healthy limbs to make them efficient beggars. Besides all those nations with flags with scientific accomplishments still have beggars and poor infrastructure. So what's the point. Beggars need to get up and improve their viewpoint and yes - goverment and society as a whole has to help. Merely keep feeding them is not a solution nor is providing them empty jobs.
Third - After making these accomplishments, it is important to focus to use resources in improving basic research facilities, promote business/entrepreneurship and focus on using technology in improving communication and other related scientific endeavors - crops, healthy living, play leading role in the world affairs. Show them the Indian way of peace and tolerance. Now more than ever the world needs an Indian touch. Just look at boardrooms across the world and you will know what I mean.
Posted by:Bharat - 22 Oct, 2008
14: Well, India does it again. They ignore poverty, poor education, hunger, malnutrition and disease and accomplish an engineering feat that has been performed by man many times before. In the earlier case Americans/Russians used the space accomplishments to invent technological breakthroughs which benefited all mankind.

What did India accomplish? The poor are still poor, the uneducated are still uneducated, the hungry are still hungry and the diseased are still suffering, but we still planted the Indian flag on the barren moon and we can puff our chest with stupid pride. I say go get a life, re-examine priorities and do the right thing. The right thing is to control population, because we are producing more poor people every day.
Posted by:Raj Acharya - 22 Oct, 2008
15: Congrats to the team...
Posted by:Visakh - 22 Oct, 2008
16: Really historic moment and proud to be

Salutes to the Entire Team
Posted by:Sandeep Goel - 22 Oct, 2008
17: This is a great moment for India. Congratulations! to the team. The nation is proud of you.
Posted by:Murali, Nandhini, Manas - 22 Oct, 2008
18: First of all feed all the beggars. Try to improve your infrastructure. Comparing to those nations, who already have sent rockets to moon: Do they have unemployment like us? What is ratio of educated and uneducated in India, when you think of the "whole big nation". We Indians are very good to brag about. Just think of the basic needs of every single Indian there. Then send rockets to Moon(also to Sun)!
Posted by:Padma Balachandran - 22 Oct, 2008
19: For years man has made study of the moon in a hope to colonize it because they have nearly destroyed the earth. What I find perfectly absurd with our mission to the moon is to find water. If all the last observations done by Russians and Americans have only proved that there is no water on the moon … are Indians going to prove all of them wrong? WHAT A JOKE…HA HA HA HA

Secondly, what does it matter from where the moon has originated? Is it going to change the course of history of Origin?

Spending Rs. 386 Crores is justifiable arms race in the space. People on earth can die of hunger, no issue … says the government.

If the same amount was spent wisely for a satellite to provide faster and better service for Internet, I would say, 'Well done.' With all the resources in hand if India can not build a satellite to provide Internet services then I think something is terribly wrong somewhere.
Posted by:Ivo Oscar Faleiro - 22 Oct, 2008
20: hats off to the entire team of ISRO, Sriharikota.

Nation salutes you.

g selvarathinam/m kathiresan
Posted by:G SELVARATHINAM - 22 Oct, 2008

Posted by:SRINIVAS.V. - 22 Oct, 2008
22: Fantastic! Go India!

But also feed and educate our people and give them social security insurance like Bismark of Germany.

Kumar Mitra / Germany
Posted by:Kumar Mitra - 22 Oct, 2008
23: My opinion is kind of different against what most of the readers have commented.

I would have liked if this satellite was used to orbit earth and help India to improve communication or Weather predictions...Our meterological lab says that the equipments they have are about 10 years behind what US has in terms of technology.

Historically, this is the 68th attempt to study the moon. There have been elaborate studies done on the moon with various samples collected and is sleeping at NASA, Houston. No analysis has been done beyond that.

ISRO says that they will have an Indian land on the moon by 2025. Other than joining the ELITE club of countries that have reached the moon (officially it is 6 now including India), people of India derive no benefit from this space programmes.

Being an emerging economy, India should invest in programmes that will offer tangible benefits to people of India and the world.

Chandrayan finds water on happens next? are we going to colonize the moon? Not in another 1000 years.

Can you say that you have understood earth just by collecting a rock from Alaska?

that ought to be a joke.

Posted by:Shankar - 22 Oct, 2008
24: Proud to be an Indian as always, Gr8 work by ISRO scientists, you guys ROCK!!!!!!!!!
Posted by:Hrishikesh pauskar - 22 Oct, 2008
25: I would love to see indian flag in moon. Its great
Posted by:analak - 22 Oct, 2008
26: This is the time every indian feel proud. We showed to our neighbour countries what we are....

Great work by ISRO Engineers......

Posted by:Praveen Kumar, Hyderabad - 22 Oct, 2008
27: It make me feel proud...
Posted by:Mukesh Kumar - 22 Oct, 2008
28: hats off to indian scientists
Posted by:soundararajan - 22 Oct, 2008
29: We are proud to be Indians... Our scientists have show the world what we are........
Posted by:shanks - 22 Oct, 2008
30: This is just the beginning India will rock the whole universe ......
Posted by:Abhishek - 21 Oct, 2008
31: To those who pointed a finger that this mission of INDIA was just to show that they also can enter into the legacy of nations that have sent spacecraft to moon and nothing technical.

Why do u think that payloads from European Space Agency 3, the US 2 and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences 1 are being added to it
Posted by:Ganesh Bhalsing - 21 Oct, 2008
32: Good going, credit goes to our ISRO scientists and Engineers. We need to provide more support in this stream. Thanks. Manjunath Bangalore.
Posted by:Manjunath G.S - 21 Oct, 2008
33: Mera Bharat Mahaan
Posted by:Balaji Kaushik - 21 Oct, 2008
34: My India is always king.

Kiran Kumar

Get your own domain and for free.
Posted by:Kiran - 21 Oct, 2008