Blogs

LASER instrument on Chandrayaan-1 successfully turned on

Chandrayaan-1 in orbit around the Moon. Credits: ISRO

[ISRO Press Release - 16.11.2008]
Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI), one of the 11 scientific instruments (payloads) carried by Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, has successfully been turned ON today (November 16, 2008). The instrument was switched ON when the spacecraft was passing over western part of the moon’s visible hemisphere. Preliminary assessment of the data from LLRI by ISRO scientists indicates that the instrument’s performance is normal. LLRI sends pulses of infrared laser light towards a strip of lunar surface and detects the reflected portion of that light. With this, the instrument can very accurately measure the height of moon’s surface features. LLRI will be continuously kept ON and takes 10 measurements per second on both day and night sides of the moon. It provides topographical details of both polar and equatorial regions of the moon. Detailed analysis of the data sent by LLRI helps in understanding the internal structure of the moon as well as the way that celestial body evolved.

YLE declaration 2008 released

Lunex logo. Credits: Lunex

[Lunex Press Release - 14.11.2008]
The Young Lunar Explorers (YLE) participating at the LEAG-ICEUM10-SRR conference at Cape Canaveral, Florida, discussed and approved the Young Lunar Explorers Declaration 2008. The YLE declaration presents goals for the near, medium and long term future of lunar exploration, from a perspective of the YLE group. The YLE declaration was included in the LEAG-ICEUM10-SRR conference declaration, approved by the conference attendants on the last day of the conference.

Indian Tricolour Placed on the Moon

Chandrayaan-1 in orbit around the Moon. Credits: ISRO

[ISRO Press Release - 14.11.2008]
In a historic event, the Indian space programme achieved a unique feat today (November 14, 2008) with the placing of Indian tricolour on the Moon’s surface on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday. The Indian flag was painted on the sides of Moon Impact Probe (MIP), one of the 11 payloads of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, that successfully hit the lunar surface today at 20:31 hrs (8:31 pm) IST. This is the first Indian built object to reach the surface of the moon. The point of MIP’s impact was near the Moon’s South Polar Region. It may be recalled that the modern Indian space programme was initiated in 1962 when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister of India.

NASA Restores Historic Lunar Orbiter Image

Earth-rise from Lunar Orbiter 1. Credits: NASA/LOIRP

[NASA Press Release - 14.11.2008]
NASA released a newly restored 42-year-old image of Earth on Thursday. The Lunar Orbiter 1 spacecraft took the iconic photograph of Earth rising above the lunar surface in 1966.
Using refurbished machinery and modern digital technology, NASA produced the image at a much higher resolution than was possible when it was originally taken. The data may help the next generation of explorers as NASA prepares to return to the moon.

NASA Tests Lunar Rovers and Oxygen Production Technology

NASA's new lunar truck prototype. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 13.11.2008]
NASA has concluded nearly two weeks of testing equipment and lunar rover concepts on Hawaii's volcanic soil. The agency's In Situ Resource Utilization Project, which studies ways astronauts can use resources found at landing sites, demonstrated how people might prospect for resources on the moon and make their own oxygen from lunar rocks and soil.

The tests helped NASA gain valuable information about systems that could enable a sustainable and affordable lunar outpost by minimizing the amount of water and oxygen that must be transported from Earth.

Chandrayaan-1 Successfully Reaches its Operational Lunar Orbit

[ISRO Press Release - 12.11.2008]
Today, Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft has successfully reached its intended operational orbit at a height of about 100 km from the lunar surface. This followed a series of three orbit reduction manoeuvres conducted during the past three days by repeatedly firing the spacecraft’s 440 Newton Liquid Engine. As part of these manoeuvres, the engine was fired for a cumulative duration of about sixteen minutes. As a result of these manoeuvres, the farthest point of Chandrayaan-1’s orbit (aposelene) from the moon’s surface was first reduced from 7,502 km to 255 km and finally to 100 km while the nearest point (periselene) was reduced from 200 km to 182 km and finally to 100 km.

First Lunar Orbit Reduction Manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 Successfully Carried Out

Chandrayaan-1 in orbit around the Moon. Credits: ISRO

[ISRO Press Release - 10.11.2008]
The first orbit reduction manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft which is orbiting the moon, was successfully performed yesterday (November 9, 2008) night. As part of that manoeuvre which began at 20:03 IST, the 440 Newton liquid engine of the spacecraft was fired for about 57 seconds. With this, the nearest point of Chandrayaan-1’s orbit (periselene) from the moon’s surface was reduced from 504 km to 200 km while the farthest point (aposelene) remained unchanged at 7,502 km. In this elliptical orbit, Chandrayaan-1 takes about ten and a half hours to circle the moon once.

International Lunar Exploration Awards 2008: Who are the winners?

ILEWG Logo. Credits: ILEWG

[ILEWG Press Release - 07.11.2008]
What are the lunar highlights of the year? The winners of "International Lunar Exploration Awards 2008" have just been announced by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) at a Lunar Explorers Conference in Cape Canaveral.

The ILEWG Awards celebrate the top lunar achievements in science, technology, international cooperation, community service, commerce and outreach, says Bernard Foing, ILEWG Executive Director.

Chandrayaan-1 Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit

Chandrayaan-1 in orbit around the Moon. Credits: ISRO

[ISRO Press Release - 08.11.2008]
Chandrayaan-1, India’s first unmanned spacecraft mission to moon, entered lunar orbit today (November 8, 2008). This is the first time that an Indian built spacecraft has broken away from the Earth’s gravitational field and reached the moon. This historic event occurred following the firing of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft’s liquid engine at 16:51 IST for a duration of 817 seconds. The highly complex ‘lunar orbit insertion manoeuvre’ was performed from Chandrayaan-1 Spacecraft Control Centre of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network at Bangalore.

Apollo 8 Crew Remembers Historic Mission Live On NASA TV

Earth-rise seen from Apollo 8. Credits: NASA.

Almost 40 years after NASA executed the bold decision to send the first human flight of the gigantic Saturn V rocket to the moon, the crew of Apollo 8 will reunite as part of a special public program produced in cooperation with the Newseum in Washington.

The program features Apollo 8 crew members Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders. It will be broadcast live from the Newseum on NASA Television and www.nasa.gov on Thursday, Nov. 13, at 1:30 p.m.

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