Chandrayaan intrduction: is India’s first mission to the Moon launched by India’s national space agency the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The unmanned lunar exploration mission includes a lunar orbiter and an impactor. India launched the spacecraft by a modified version of the PSLV, PSLV. (by wiki)
India’s maiden mission to the moon, associated with so much national prestige, has run into rough weather. It has had a severe malfunction with scientists fearing that the mission may well have to be terminated halfway. In a global exclusive, our Science Editor Pallava Bagla sat down with Dr G Madhavan Nair, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation.
according to G Madhavan Nair:
“Space missions are complex. There are instances of problems. We are also not spared. The first thing we encountered when it was put into 100km orbit… it simply reached a stage of thermal runaway. The entire spacecraft would have simply baked and lost. That was the scenario after a month of the launch. Fortunately our mission team worked out a strategy by which it was oriented in the right direction. It had reached a stage where many of the electronic equipment would have failed. Fortunately we were able to energise the redundant units to keep it live all this time. This has been going on since quite some time but unfortunately during the last one month, we have lost one vital sensor – the star sensor – like in the old days when mariners looked at the stars to fix the direction, we have an onboard equipment which is doing this, which required for precise pointing We were really worried with the loss of that. Normally the entire mission could be lost, but to the credit of the ISRO scientific team, they have worked out a very innovative way of overcoming this.”
But to the credit of the ISRO scientific team, they have worked out a very innovative way of overcoming the problem,” the ISRO chief said, but added that if some more failures happen, “then we will have problems”. Nair, however, said that in the last eight months of the operation of the mission, “we have collected almost all the data that we wanted” and that most of its objectives have already been completed.
Chandrayaan-I was launched from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on October 22 last year. ISRO Spokesperson S Satish said, “We are not sure how long we will be able to sustain it.
The life of Chandrayaan-I designed for two years may be reduced”. He, however, maintained that the mission is not crippled adding, “it is continuing satisfactorily.
” ISRO said it has devised innovative technology and is using antenna pointing mechanism and gyroscopes to overcome the problem.