Chandrayaan-1, India’s first mission to Moon, was launched successfully on October 22, 2008 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. The spacecraft was orbiting around the Moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon. The spacecraft carried 11 scientific instruments built in India, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria.

After the successful completion of all the major mission objectives, the orbit has been raised to 200 km during May 2009. The satellite made more than 3400 orbits around the moon and the mission was concluded when the communication with the spacecraft was lost on August 29, 2009. 

Mission Remote Sensing, Planetary Science
Weight 1380 kg (Mass at lift off)
Onboard power 700 Watts
Stabilization 3 – axis stabilised using reaction wheel and attitude control thrusters, sun sensors, star sensors, fibre optic gyros and accelerometers for attitude determination.
Scientific Payloads from India

a) Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC)
b) Hyper Spectral Imager (HySI)
c) Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI)
d) High Energy X – ray Spectrometer (HEX)
e) Moon Impact Probe(MIP)

Scientific Payloads from abroad

f) Chandrayaan-I  X-ray Spectrometer (CIXS)
g) Near Infrared Spectrometer (SIR – 2)
h) Sub keV Atom Reflecting Analyzer (SARA)
i) Miniature Synthetic Aperature Radar (Mini SAR)
j) Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3)
k) Radiation Dose Monitor (RADOM)

Launch Date 22 October 2008
Launch Site SDSC, SHAR, Sriharikota
Launch Vehicle PSLV – C11
Orbit 100 km x 100 km : Lunar Orbit
Mission life 2 years


The mission had the following stated objectives:

  • to design, develop, launch and orbit a spacecraft around the Moon using an Indian-made launch-vehicle
  • to conduct scientific experiments using instruments on the spacecraft which would yield data:
    • for the preparation of a three-dimensional atlas (with high spatial and altitude resolution of 5–10 m or 16–33 ft) of both the near and far sides of the Moon
    • for chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface at high spatial resolution, mapping particularly the chemical elements magnesium, aluminium, silicon, calcium, iron, titanium, radon, uranium, and thorium
  • to increase scientific knowledge
  • to test the impact of a sub-satellite (Moon Impact Probe – MIP) on the surface of the Moon as a fore-runner for future soft-landing missions


In order to reach its objective, the mission defined these goals:

  • High-resolution mineralogical and chemical imaging of the permanently shadowed north- and south-polar regions
  • Searching for surface or sub-surface lunar water-ice, especially at the lunar poles
  • Identification of chemicals in lunar highland rocks
  • Chemical strati graphy of the lunar crust by remote sensing of the central uplands of large lunar craters, and of the South Pole Aitken Region (SPAR), an expected site of interior material
  • Mapping the height variation of features of the lunar surface
  • Observation of X-ray spectrum greater than 10 keV and stereo graphic coverage of most of the Moon’s surface with 5 m (16 ft) resolution
  • Providing new insights in understanding the Moon’s origin and evolution

I am scientist

I am scientist is a result of small effort to make huge impact on children. To stimulate the curiosity of young scientist towards science. Each idea will start with a experiment followed by reasoning the result , scientific learning, vocabulary (recap the big words used), useful reference website and books, along with free downloadable worksheets.

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