ISRO to launch Chandrayaan-1 in Sept

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Bangalore, Jun 20 (UNI) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today said its ambitious lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 would be launched in September.

The launch, which was originally slated for April nine, was pushed to early July as problems cropped up in interfacing the pay loads on the orbiter and late arrival of some of the six foreign payloads.

The satellite consists of eleven payloads, of which five is Indian and six foreign. This include X-ray Spectrometer, Atom Reflecting Analyser and an Infrared Camera, all supplied by European Space Agency, a Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar and Moon Mineralogical Mapper from the US and Radiation Dose Monitor from Bulgaria.

Speaking to UNI, ISRO spokesperson S Satish said the assembly integration test of the satellite was currently in progress.

''Problems faced during interfacing of equipment were expected and not unusual. This usually cause some delays in space missions.

But as far as Chandrayaan-1, everything is proceeding smoothly at present,'' he added.

Arrival of payloads from one or two foreign parties had delayed the proceedings. However, all foreign payloads had now arrived and the integration work completed.

''The assembly integration tests were now proceeding well at the ISRO facility in the city. Everything is under control and the testing of the satellite is proceeding smoothly,'' he said.

ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) would hurl the 525-kg satellite into the Lunar orbit from Sriharikota launch pad on the East Coast.

The September launch would also help ISRO to complete its work on the Deep Space Network Antenna, which had been built at Bylalu near the city. ISRO has erected a 32-meter parabolic dish antenna, which was presently undergoing final tests.

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