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India lands on the Moon November 14, 2008

Posted by Sarah in science.
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After a successful launch and lunar orbit insertion, Indian space mission Chandrayaan-1 has successfully landed its Moon Impact Probe on the surface of the Moon. The lander will now take measurements to help determine the composition of the Moon’s thin atmosphere.

CORRECTION: The Moon Impact Probe took all its measurements and images during its descent to the Moon’s surface. The probe then had a “hard landing” on the lunar surface that “terminated its functioning”. Thanks for Emily at the Planetary Society Weblog for clearing up this confusion! I think the BBC have also amended their story, as I’m sure the one I read before said nothing about a “crash landing”.

The Chairman of the Indian Space Programme, Madhavan Nair, has indicated that India will also consider sending a mission to Mars.

Click here for a nice image gallery of the Chandrayaan mission over at the BBC.

And congratulations to India for a successful mission!

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Chandrayaan settles into Lunar orbit November 10, 2008

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Following its launch on 22 October, Indian lunar probe Chandrayaan-1 successfully settled into orbit around the Moon a couple of days ago, on 8 November. Just a few days before, Chandrayaan beamed back some fantastic images of the Earth from its journey towards our companion satellite. The probe is now in a highly elliptical orbit passing oevr the Lunar poles, from where it will slowly descend to a much closer-in orbit at an altitude of just 100 km over the Lunar surface.

From there the Moon Impact Probe (MIP) will be released to hit the surface.

Chandrayaan is India’s first scientific space mission.

Chandrayaan looks back at Earth, enters Lunar Transfer Trajectory November 4, 2008

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Earth as viewed by Chandrayaan-1, 29 October 2008

Earth as viewed by Chandrayaan-1, 29 October 2008

Chandrayaan-1, the first Indian scientific space mission that was launched on 22 October, has beamed back its first images, posted on the website of the Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO (here!). Mission scientists say the camera is in perfect working order, great news for them and congratulations on a successful mission so far!

Just today ISRO announced that Chandrayaan entered its Lunar transfer trajectory in the early hours of this morning to bring it on track to enter a Lunar orbit in a few days’ time.