India’s Chandrayaan-1 On Its Way to the Moon

Chandrayaan-1, Indiaโ€™s first mission to the Moon, was successfully launched earlier this morning from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) in Sriharikota, India. The PSLV-C11 rocket lifted off at 02:52 Central European Summer Time (CEST). About 20 minutes later the spacecraft was , injected into a highly elongated orbit around the Earth. The spacecraft will reach the moon in about two weeks. It will take several days for the Chandrayaan-1 to reach its lunar transfer orbit, and then it will take about 5 days to reach the moon. Once the spacecraft is orbiting the moon, it will progressively lower its altitude through propulsive maneuvers to reach its final 100 km-high circular orbit.

Chandrayaan-1 mission profile.  Credit:  ESA
Chandrayaan-1 mission profile. Credit: ESA

Chandrayaan-1 is a truly international mission, with payloads from Europe as well as the United States. NASA’s contribution includes the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, designed to look for lunar mineral resources, and an instrument known as Mini-SAR, which will look for ice deposits in the moon’s polar regions. Engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are also providing backup navigation assistance to the Indian Space Agency in Bangalore, India.

At the earliest opportunity, the spacecraft will eject the โ€˜Moon Impact Probeโ€™ to provide information about the lunar surface. The mission will then continue from orbit, with remote-sensing studies carried out by its 11 scientific instruments. Three of these instruments were provided by Europe (UK, Germany, Sweden) through ESA.

Sources: ESA,

46 Replies to “India’s Chandrayaan-1 On Its Way to the Moon”

  1. (shrug) You can’t very well enforce a claim if you aren’t willing and/or able to stay there, can you?

    Remember, the Scandinavians were the first Euuropeans to reach the New World, but it was the Spanish, English, French, Dutch and Portugese who made it stick. Or as this man put it:

    “It’s nice to be first. The money is in being second.”
    – Larry Bell, aerospace engineer

  2. Congrats to ISRO. It’s nice to have a space race among various countries. But, once we go out to the space, it is not the USA or India. It is humanity. We are all on the same side.

  3. “# George_McCain Says:
    October 22nd, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    “Why are we letting the Indians orbit our moon? America was there first.”

    Too bad your woefully inept government hasn’t bothered to see the point in going back for the last 35 years. With vision like that, it’ll probably be India you’ll have to go to for permission to orbit their new planet in 20 years – Mars.

  4. @George_McCain

    At least now we can make those bloody conspiracy theorists shut their mouths, all together, after we get high resolution images of moon showing the evidence that Apollo missions are genuine. So, in a way, ISRO is helping NASA .. so just chill ๐Ÿ˜›

    “Americans vs Russia” ‘s ship has sailed brother… It’s India vs China now ๐Ÿ˜€ …. just kidding ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. This is great – well done INDIA. With the Chinese now in space and planning a space station. It might shock the Americans out of their slumber. And get them a bit more motivated to recapture the GLORY DAYS OF APOLLO.
    Maybe we are on the verge of the next space race.
    Here’s hoping !!!!!!!

  6. Congrats India !! I love the fact that missions are beginning to be more international.

    I heard India is planning a human space mission by 2015 and a Human Moon Mission by 2020 (funding pending though).

  7. Nothing much of value on the Moon, let’s just pass it by and send a couple of really big tankers to Titan, pump a couple of those lakes dry. When they get back we can loan OPEC a little of it.

  8. Great, another country launches a satellite that will take pictures of the base on the moon and keep it to themselves.

  9. @raghu

    The traditional payload of PSLV is smaller than what they planned for this mission. So reconfigured the body to carry 4 tonne more fuel than earlier versions. Also the strap-on motors are bigger than previous ones.

    More details here

  10. India and China send up a few rockets and all of a sudden America is “losing” the space race?

    What a bunch of liberal fools. It just goes to show that if you tell a lie often enough, some people will start to believe it.

  11. Timber there is loads of H3 on the Earth’s moon, which is the main push for most countries attempting to set up shop there.
    H3 will surely be quite valuable in the years to come.

  12. Hey McCain..! Remember.. America itself was nothing before Great Britain found it in 1776. Go & get the permission from britishers first before speaking anything. And india was well developed at 2600 BC. Centuries before America born. We shown you the moon (Chandra). Indian Astronomy, Vedanga, was the earliest in the world. First get the knowledge and then speakout in public.

  13. Congratulation to India space program and Chandrayaan sucess!
    Well done!
    Now, wi have another “rabbit” for “space race – the next generation”


  14. Well and awaiting more from the Indian side. All Indians are proud of it. Hope this America and Russia to rejoin in space. India will be there as a mediator to avoid the distance between them, to do good for the man kind. Like what India did in Chandrayan-1. India will take Russian payload also american payload. In future India’s roll will be like that. It will lead to clear the dark clouds between them.

  15. Wow.. party ppl. india did a great job! ๐Ÿ™‚ And now we can shut all those proudies . Thers nothing that India can’t do.! And i agree with you nikhlesh shah. India was well developed before America came into existence.
    The main point is- whu the heck are those bloddy ppl jealous of India’s development! And Moon is not america’s PROPERTY!

  16. Great job by ISRO. Looking forward to a successful mission.

    BTW, how “technically” different is this launch from the several other launches that the PSLV has accomplished?

  17. Congrats to the fledgling Indian space program. India is now entering the world stage in the exploration of space, the more the merrier! I hope that missions such as Chandrayaan-1 encourages other nations to cooperate in the peaceful exploration of space instead of the militarization of space. We should all look forward to increased interest in space exploration by other nations interested in peaceful applications of science & technology. I look forward to the mapping info to be accumulated by Chandrayaan-1, LRO & other European, Chinese, Russian, and Japanese lunar missions. The future of lunar exploration looks bright indeed.

  18. I suspect NASA will be outsourcing its lunar colonies to India in a few decades.

    And we better learn to speak Chinese while up there, too.

  19. Congratulations India! Let’s all realize our reaches into space are at one level a matter of national pride, but at the highest level its the species that is learning how to navigate its way off of the planet in the search of our next home – needed for sure within the next 1.1 billion years or so. As we learn to cooperate as a species, we will go much farther with our technologies.

  20. Some of the comments here horrify me…

    I’m just thinking:
    maybe, if the Indian Space Agency had left out NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper and mini-SAR, there would have been no need for expensive and time-consuming modifications to the launch vehicle???
    Perhaps India will set up a really good medical treatment service on the moon, better than anything we Europeans and you US-Americans can even dream of….

  21. @Feenixx
    “Perhaps India will set up a really good medical treatment service on the moon, better than anything we Europeans and you US-Americans can even dream ofโ€ฆ.”


    ISRO need commercialization of launches for it to support itself instead of relying on parliament for the more funds. So other space agency’s payloads are always welcome ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. *correction*
    for more funds

    and moreover I guess such commercialization would help small countries to launch their own satellites. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Hey Cain just to remind you:

    Ancient Egyptians and Indians found out the early planents

    Pyolemy(Greek) gave the first (geocentric)theory about solar system even thogh wrong

    Copernicus (Polish) gave the correct theory about solar system

    Kepler (German) gave the laws of planetary motion which is being used by every space agency

    Newton (British) gave the laws of gravitation which corroborated Kepler’s laws. The Newtonian machanics forms the basis of all machines including rockets that take you to the moon

    Where were you Americans at those times??

  24. I dont know why the Americans are so proudy and jealous. what ever leave it.

    i jusy want tell you that, in timing from lunching to reaching at destination, launch vehicle is very promt than ever vehicle in the world. There is no challenge to PSLV launcher in the world abt its timing.
    Now just wait upto 2015 when india will have manned mission.

  25. Simply brtilliant!!!..India the cradle of human civilization and knowledge..There’s more to come…This is just the beginning. This could be India’s and America’s century….Cheers.

  26. I for one am delighted every time the challenge of space exploration gets picked up by another country. We may have different cultures, speak different languages, different skin complexions – but the reality that we’re on this tiny rock together is undeniable. The answers we need to grow & survive are out there and well hidden – so the more of us who search the better.

    God speed Chandrayaan-1!

  27. Guys, Its is not about which country reached moon first or which country holds authority…time is near guys to speak for whole world… speak for humans throughout the world, let this moon mission from India help all the human beings to survive in this world for years to come. Afterall we (the people in the earth) are not even a small spot in this galaxy and let we (this tiny spot) help each other to survive in this galaxy for ever.

  28. George, I think u should be more worried for the US’s economy rather to claim the moon. I read somewhere that US landed on the moon decades ago…but Indians did not find you there….

  29. These Indians laugh because they know they are stealing American jobs – and next will be the Universe.

    A Universe full of Calcuttas. Imagine that.

  30. Hindustan Times says NASA employees are sending their resumes to ISRO.

    The exodus has begun.

    Thanks a lot, India.

    Looking so forward to my new Soylent Green lifestyle.

  31. Why are people talking about a space race?? the Indians are sending a lunar probe that will share data with NASA and the ESA. when was the last time anyone went to space spending billions of dollars and gave out the data for free?? I am Indian and i grew up in India. I was taught that Neil Armstrong was the first human to reach the moon, and he is my idol and a hero for many. I dont care if he is american, african or indian. we are talking about planets, solar systems galaxies and humanity and these things are much bigger than people, races, ego’s and their nations.
    if anything you should be worried about china shooting down satellites… not about india going to the moon to make a topographical map and to find other minerals.

  32. DEAR SIR






  35. It’s a giant leap for ISRO and people of India as a whole. Chandrayaan-1 has opened our minds to the vastness of cosmos.ISRO, the NASA of India, will definitely help us to get out of all widespread ignorance and Pseudoscience. I feel, launching of Chandrayaan-1 and its importance should be highlighted in a greater way. It should not be a neglected news of the fifth page of a newspaper.

  36. @ McCain:
    Chuck it, let it go. Moon is our property, by our I mean, Earth’s property and not just America.

  37. India and indians for centuries have been adopting the policy of peaceful co existence. It is with this policy tat india allowed US and ESA instruments to be part of CHANDRAYAAN-1. Salutes to the great nation wer great people like buddha, gandhi, subhas chandra bose, abdul kalam and Vajpayee were born.

  38. In last couple of years, India has grown as an economic superpower which can now spends millions and billions in science. Chandrayaan-1 truly reflects that India has always been capable of doing such things, its just matter of time before it could divert its resources to science like what US, Europe and China has been doing since a long time.

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