Chandrayaan-1 Closer to the Moon; Snaps First Lunar Shot

Following the fifth and final orbit raising maneuver which put Chandrayaan-1 closer to the moon, the spacecraft snapped the first picture of its final destination. This clear, crisp image of the moon While the images are still being processed and are not available yet, mission managers says the images bode well for spacecraft’s mission to map the entire moon’s surface with its Terrain Mapping Camera. And all systems are go for the final maneuver on November 8, which will put Chandrayaan-1 in lunar orbit.

After launch on October 22, the spacecraft was first injected into an elliptical 7-hr orbit around Earth, at 255 km from Earth at perigee (its closest point) and 22,860 km away at apogee, its farthest point. After five engine firings, Chandrayaan-1 has spiraled outwards in increasingly elongated ellipses around Earth, until it reached its lunar transfer orbit on November 4.

Chandrayaan-1 in its lunar transfer orbit.  Credit: ISRO
Chandrayaan-1 in its lunar transfer orbit. Credit: ISRO

In the final maneuver, engineers fired the spacecraft’s 440 Newton liquid-fuel propelled engine for about two and a half minutes. The lunar transfer orbit’s farthest point from Earth is about 380,000 km.

On November 8, as it nears the moon, the spacecraft’s engine will be fired again to slow the spacecraft, allowing the moon’s gravity to capture it, and then it will go into an initial elliptical orbit around the moon. A group of engineers from JPL are assisting the engineers from India, acting as experienced back-up for the “first-time-flyers” from India. And everything has gone smoothly thus far.

The spacecraft will make observations from the initial orbit, and then the orbit will be lowered a 100 km circular polar orbit. Following this, the Moon Impact Probe (MIP) will be ejected, impacting the lunar surface. Then the main mission will begin with Chandrayaan-1 exploring the moon from orbit with its array of instruments for two years.

Source: Bharat Chronicle

9 Replies to “Chandrayaan-1 Closer to the Moon; Snaps First Lunar Shot”

  1. Oh no! I was totally duped into thinking the original press release was a lunar pic by Chandrayaan! They should have made it obvious that it was a stock pic… Good spot Nancy 🙂

    Cheers, Ian

  2. I’m very surprised by the photo of the Moon publisehd with the article. Since October 22, day of the Chandrayaan launch, the Moon never showed us this phase. The next similar phase will be visible around November 10 or 11… So what ? It seems to me that this photo was not taken by the spacecraft but from Earth, before the launch. If Chandrayaan took a first photo of the Moon, it may not be this one !

  3. If you take a look at the flight path of the probe you’ll realize, that it’s “forward”-direction (“speed vector”) is quite different to the line connecting earth and moon (the “look at the moon”-direction from an earthbound observer). Therefore, the images of the Chandrayaan probe need not show the same phase as seen by an earthbound observer. Unless the moon is hidden in the Earth’s shadow (“moon eclipse”), there is always a “full moon” and “no moon” perspective.

  4. However, Phil is right. In checking further, although the images have been taken by Chandrayaan-1, they haven’t yet been yet been made available to the press and the public. The source for the article included a moon photo, but it turned out to be a stock photo of the moon, not an actual Chandrayaan image. I apologize for the error. I’ve replaced the moon image with an artists impression of Chandrayaan at the moon, and we will post the actual images from the spacecraft as soon as they are available.

  5. hi, indians r doing realy great….as per my knowledge they have only released photos of earth…… and moon photos are to be released chandrayaan entered lunar orbit recently

  6. cool india is awesom. Its good to see indians doing great. i guess now the world has started taking india seriously. I just love almost everything about india. Love to go there once… cheers guys

  7. Thanks for the lovely information Nancy. I am very eagerly waiting for the release of photographs of Moon by ISRO. And now be a regular visitor of this Blog.


Comments are closed.