New Delhi,Oct.22 : United States Ambassador to India David C. Mulford today congratulated India on the successful launch of the Chandrayaan-1.
"The United States congratulates India on the successful launch. This is a proud moment in Indian history and demonstrates India's technological prowess by joining the international community in the peaceful exploration of space.
The United States was proud to participate in Chandrayaan-1 by providing two instruments for the mission. Ahead of today's launch, scientists from the United States worked closely with their Indian partners to prepare the U.S. contribution to the Chandrayaan spacecraft, exemplifying the ideals of our bilateral partnership," said Mulford.
The Chandrayaan-1 was launched today from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota.
Earlier Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr. G Madhavan Nair described it as a 'historic' moment for India. According to scientists at the SDSC, it was a 'normal' liftoff.
The spacecraft is carrying eleven payloads (scientific instruments) and weighs about 1,380 kg at the time of its launch. It was shaped like a cuboid with the solar panel projecting from one of its sides.
Of the eleven payloads, five are entirely designed and developed in India, three from European Space Agency, one from Bulgaria and two from the US.
Chandrayaan-1 would put India in the elite lunar club comprising Russia, US, Japan, China and European Space Agency, who had undertaken unmanned exploratory missions to the moon.
The mission intends to put an unmanned spacecraft into an orbit around the moon and to perform remote sensing of the nearest celestial neighbour for about two years with eleven payloads.
It would reach the moon surface after five and half days. Later, the moon impact probe would be ejected from Chandrayaan-1 to hit the moon surface in a chosen area.
Chandrayaan-1 satellite would orbit the Moon at an altitude of 100 km mapping the topography and the mineralogical content of the lunar soil. Chandrayaan-1 is also carry a Moon Impact Probe payload for demonstrating the technology needed towards landing on the Moon's surface.
India believes the Rs 386-crore lunar mission is a step towards its quest for exploration of outer space and inter-planetary missions.