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Chandrayaan-1: India Celebrating 11 years of India's First Successful Mission to Moon

Chandrayaan-1: India Celebrating 11 years of India
Highlights

India's first mission to Moon was launched on October 22, 2008, from Sriharikota, using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C11) by the ISRO.

Eleven years ago, on this day, India made history with the launch of Chandrayaan-1. Country's first mission to the Moon from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C11).

Chandrayaan-1 made more than 3,400 orbits around the Moon. It was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009. According to ISRO the Indian Space Research Organisation, Chandrayaan-1 made a path-breaking discovery with the detection of water in the vapour form on the lunar surface.

Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft had 11 scientific instruments onboard. Out of which five were Indian while the remaining were from European Space Agency (ESA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Dr M Annadurai, the Project Director of the successful Chandrayaan-1 mission, earlier said the ISRO faced a "very tough situation" as it had a very short launch window and the weather was "very, very bad".

"We were running against time, that was the last date to take off, we had some technical issues to set right, and the weather was very, very bad at Sriharikota spaceport," Dr M Annadurai said.

"Everybody was anxious, luckily for half-an-hour, the weather cleared, but after that there were thunder-storms; launch time was a real nail-biting moment," Dr M Annadurai said.

Dr M Annadurai also recalled how over 200 officials were tensed and anxious, sending up their prayers to their "insta devathas" (favourite deities) on the day when the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was being injected into the lunar orbit.

"That was the first inter-planetary mission for ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). It was also the first time we were tracking a satellite that was beyond 36,000 km," Dr M Annadurai recalled.

'Chandrayaan-1 faced the problem before launch'

The launch of Chandrayaan-1 on October 22, 2008, was not very smooth. Former ISRO Chief K Madhavan Nair earlier said Chandrayaan-1 faced glitch before the launch in 2008.

"There was a leakage in propellent that was detected two hours before the launch of Chandrayaan-1. It was corrected, and the mission was launched on the same day," Madhavan Nair was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

On November 8, 2008, the Chandrayaan-1 was successfully injected into the lunar orbit, and the ISRO officials heaved a big sigh of relief.

Chandrayaan-1 also discovered water ice in the North polar region besides detecting magnesium, aluminium and silicon on the lunar surface while global imaging of the moon was another achievement of the mission.

ISRO says the learnings of Chandrayaan-1 mission were helpful for its second interplanetary mission Mangalyaan or Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in 2014.

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