October 22, 2008

Moon Impact Probe - Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam's brainchild

Chandrayaan-1 was successfully launched this morning from ISRO SHAR (Shriharikota Range). This MOON mission is been closely observed by a zillion people across the world for various reasons. Some of the key aspects of the Chandrayaan-1 mission are -
  • India's first giant leap beyond the Earth orbit
  • 5 'Made In India' payloads (scientific instruments)
  • 3 payloads from the European Space Agency (one of which was jointly developed with India and the other with Indian contribution)
  • 3 payloads from the United States (NASA)
  • 1 payload from Bulgaria
But, to many Indians and young students across the country, this mission will be more closer to heart - It's because, this mission also carries our former President Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam's brainchild in it. Yes, I'm referring to the Moon Impact Probe (MIP). So, what is this MIP all about? Read on...

The primary objective of MIP is to demonstrate the technologies required for landing a probe at the desired location on the moon. Through this probe, it is also intended to qualify some of the technologies related to future soft landing missions. This apart, scientific exploration of the moon at close distance is also intended using MIP. The Moon Impact Probe will be ejected from Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft at the earliest opportunity as the spacecraft gets closer to the Moon to hit the lunar surface in a chosen area.

The MIP weighs about 29kgs and consists of the following -
  1. a C-band Radar Altimeter for continuous measurement of altitude of the Probe above lunar surface and to qualify technologies for future landing missions
  2. a Video Imaging System for acquiring images of the surface of moon from the descending probe
  3. a Mass Spectrometer for measuring the constituents of extremely thin lunar atmosphere during its 20 minute descent to the lunar surface
The MIP was totally developed in-house at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre of Thiruvananthapuram.

I highly encourage you to visit the ISRO website and take a look at this well stitched brochure about Chandrayaan-1 India's first Moon Mission

Courtesy: Pictures and knowledge from ISRO.org
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