NEW DELHI: India’s first unmanned mission to the , Chandrayaan 1, will be unveiled by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Thursday. An upgraded version of the hugely successful Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will be used to send Chandrayaan to space. Within 100 kilometres of the lunar surface, the spacecraft will be launched.
Chandrayaan will then enter the lunar atmosphere and land for exploration. The remote sensing satellite will weigh more than 1300 kilograms and carry high resolution remote sensing equipment for the visible spectrum, near infrared and hard frequencies.
Over its two year period, the mission will survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and topography. ISRO is likely to launch the spacecraft by October or December this year. The estimated cost of the mission is a whopping $83 million and will include payloads from other international space agencies including NASA as well.
India has seen numerous successes in the recent past with its space programs. On 28th April this year, India created history by launching ten satellites in one go, carrying a payload of 824 kg. India's first fully commercial launch came on 23rd April when the Italian astronomical satellite, AGILE, was sent into space. On January 10th 2007, India launched the PSLV C-7 vehicle, injecting four satellites into orbit.
Source : ET
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