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    Indian lunar probe starts remote sensing of Moon

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    India's first lunar probe entered its final polar orbit around the Moon late on Wednesday and has now begun remote sensing of the surface, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said on Thursday.

    NEW DELHI, November 13 (RIA Novosti) - India's first lunar probe entered its final polar orbit around the Moon late on Wednesday and has now begun remote sensing of the surface, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said on Thursday.

    Chandrayaan-1, meaning "Moon Craft" in ancient Sanskrit, was launched on an Indian-built PSLV-C11 rocket on October 22.

    The next step in a two-year mission will be the release of the Moon Impact Probe, which will take photographs of the Earth's largest satellite and analyze the composition of its thin atmosphere before landing on the lunar surface. Researchers hope the probe will uncover signs of Helium 3, an isotope that may fuel energy generation from nuclear fusion in the future, the ISRO said.

    The 1,304-kg spacecraft is equipped with 10 scientific instruments to study the Moon from a 100-km orbit. Five of the instruments were built in India, while the other five were the result of cooperation with Europe and the United States.

    The remote-sensing satellite will create a detailed three-dimensional map of the Moon's surface and investigate its chemical composition. The primary goal is the discovery of water, along with magnesium, aluminum, silicon and titanium, and the radioactive elements radon, uranium and thorium.

    The ISRO said all of the unmanned spacecraft's systems were functioning normally after entering lunar orbit and the instruments would be activated sequentially in the near future.

    "The analysis of the data received from the spacecraft will take time. The first results can be expected in several weeks," the organization said.

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