Chandrayaan launch postponed, new date to be announced soon

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Bangalore, June 26 : Chairman of Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) G. Madhavan Nair said on Thursday that the Indian pride Moon mission Chandrayaan launch is postponed for certain reasons.

Nair was talking to the media in Bangalore on Thursday on the sidelines of an International conference on Aerospace.

Nonetheless, he asserted that a new date of launch would be announced next month and in all probability, it could be September.

"I think it is going to be a unique mission where we will get a total mapping of the moon which does not exist today. We are trying to look for rare elements on the surface of the moon. So this information will help us with further exploration. Launch will be announced next month and September will be the earliest date of launch," said Nair.

"This is only preliminary state and we really don't know if helium is there and at what quantity to exploit. In 2012 we are going to launch the second mission of Chandrayaan, which will go to the moon surface and pick up samples and analyse it. It is going to be a co-operation between Russia and India," Nair added.

Nair also said Chandrayaan was crucial and would provide critical data.

Ever since the first rocket was launched in 1963 from Thumba at Kerala, under the supervision of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the Indian space ventures have made steady progress over the past 45 years.

Chandrayaan-I will be launched atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), India's workhorse rocket with a streak of nine consecutive flawless missions.

The spacecraft would be loaded with six instruments including a high-resolution stereo camera capable of imaging objects about 16 feet in diameter.

It will also carry near-infrared and X-ray spectrometers and a laser altimeter to determine the altitude of the lunar craft for spatial coverage of various instruments.

These payloads will enable researchers to ascertain the composition and topography of the lunar surface.

The engineers have also built a 64-pound impactor that will be dropped from the orbiting spacecraft for a suicidal nosedive into the moon.

The probe will relay video imagery, altitude information and spectral data back to Earth through the Chandrayaan mothership, which will be in a lunar orbit 100 kilometres away.

ANI

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