PM says Chandrayaan-1 launch a “historic milestone” in India’’s space programme

October 22nd, 2008 - 11:30 am ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

By Naveen Kapoor
Tokyo, Oct 22 (ANI): On the successful launch of Chandrayaan-1, India’’s spacecraft mission to moon, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said that it marked the first step in India’’s space programme, and also described it as a “historic milestone”. Singh, who is presently on an official visit to Japan, congratulated all the scientists associated with this mission for the successful completion of the first step.
“When completed, the mission will put India in the very small group of six countries which have thus far sent space missions to the moon. Our scientific community has once again done the country proud and the entire nation salutes them,” Dr. Singh said. Dr. Singh said that all the launch vehicle systems performed satisfactorily and the spacecraft has been successfully placed in an orbit around the earth.
The Prime Minister further added that this is the beginning of a two week long effort in which our scientists will now manoeuvre the spacecraft into expanding orbits around the earth before finally shifting it to an orbit around the moon.
The spacecraft was launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). It was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota.
ISRO Chairman Dr. G Madhavan Nair described it as a ”historic” moment for India. According to scientists at the SDSC, it was a ””normal”” liftoff.
The spacecraft is carrying eleven payloads (scientific instruments) and weighs about 1380 kg at the time of its launch. It was shaped like a cuboid with the solar panel projecting from one of its sides.
Of the eleven payloads, five are entirely designed and developed in India, three from European Space Agency, one from Bulgaria and two from the US.
Chandrayaan-1 would put India in the elite lunar club comprising Russia, US, Japan, China and European Space Agency, who had undertaken unmanned exploratory missions to the moon.
The mission intends to put an unmanned spacecraft into an orbit around the moon and to perform remote sensing of the nearest celestial neighbour for about two years with eleven payloads.
It would reach the moon surface after five and half days. Later, the moon impact probe would be ejected from Chandrayaan-1 to hit the moon surface in a chosen area.
Chandrayaan-1 satellite would orbit the Moon at an altitude of 100 km mapping the topography and the mineralogical content of the lunar soil.
Chandrayaan-1 is also carry a Moon Impact Probe payload for demonstrating the technology needed towards landing on the Moon’’s surface.
India believes the Rs 386-crore lunar mission is a step towards its quest for exploration of outer space and inter-planetary missions. (ANI)

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