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Nearly 40 years after Nasa's Apollo flights, which put a man on the moon, India's Chandrayaan mission launched on October 22, 2008, recently did something unique this week it mapped the landing sites of the six Apollo missions on the moon and the process ended on Saturday.
The Apollo flights were launched between July 1969 and December 1972.
This hitherto unknown aspect of the Chandrayaan programme was revealed on Saturday by a top scientist associated with the Indian moon mission, P Sreekumar, who quit his job in the US to be a part of the Indian moon team. He was among the participants at the inauguration of the International Year of Astronomy programme at the Pune-based Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCCA).

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The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), a scientific instrument of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) onboard India's first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1, found iron-bearing minerals on the lunar surface, the US space agency said on Thursday.

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India's first uncrewed lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1, is experiencing the hottest temperatures it has yet faced, which have forced it to take a "summer break", using its instruments sparingly until mid-January to get through the hot patch.
Chandrayaan is currently over the sunlit side of the moon, a place where spacecraft are expected to heat up because they receive energy directly from the Sun as well as infrared radiation given off by the Moon.

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The lunar summer is forcing ISRO to partially shut down its prestigious Chandrayaan craft for more than a month.
With an unexpected climatic vagary exposing the spacecraft to both direct solar heat and radiated lunar heat, the internal temperature of the Chandrayaan rose by almost 10 degrees, threatening its sophisticated payloads. While the upper part experiences direct heat from the sun, the crafts underbelly is exposed to equally strong heat radiated from the moon.

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The Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI), one of the 11 scientific instruments on board Chandrayaan-1, was activated on Sunday, when the spacecraft was passing over the western part of the Moons visible atmosphere.

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 Indian Tricolour Placed on the Moon on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehrus Birthday
In a historic event, the Indian space programme achieved a unique feat today (November 14, 2008) with the placing of Indian tricolour on the Moons surface on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehrus 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 MIPs impact was near the Moons 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.

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mip2B.jpg
Expand (80kb, 703 x 576)
Credit ISRO
mip3B.jpg
Expand (85kb, 703 x 576)
Credit ISRO


Images of the moons surface taken by Moon Impact Probe (MIP) on November 14, 2008.

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The probe was released from the spacecraft at 8:06 pm and during its 25-minute descent the MIP took pictures from its CCD (charge coupled device) camera, analysed the lunar atmosphere with its mass spectrometer and also analysed the speed of descent with is radar altimeter.
The job of the radar altimeter is especially important as it will provide information crucial to the landing of a rover, as is planned with Chandrayaan-2.
The probe dropped to the lunar surface at a speed of 1.6 kms/second and landed close to the Shackleton crater, near the south pole of the moon.

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Earth (ISRO)
Chandrayaan 1 sent back images of Earth earlier this month

India's first unmanned lunar spacecraft, Chandrayaan 1, has placed a probe on the surface of the Moon.
The probe, painted with the Indian flag, touched down at 20:34 (15:04 GMT), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

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