Indian flag on Chandamama on Nov 14 night

Written by: Ashwini Anish
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Bangalore, Nov 14: Exactly nine months after Valentine's day, this day appears and it is also our first Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru's (Chacha Nehru) birthday. Yes, we are speaking about Children's day, celebrated on Nov 14 of every year. There is one more spectacular event that will take place today. Our Indian flag for the first time will land on 'chandamama' with Moon Impact Probe (MIP). The MIP which rides on Chandrayaan-1, will crash land on the lunar surface on Friday, Nov 14 at 10 pm with an Indian flag painted on it.

But what is Chandrayaan-1?
Chandrayaan-1 is derived from the Sanskrit word, 'Chandrayaan' meaning, 'Moon vehicle'. It is India's first unmanned mission to the moon carried out by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The unmanned lunar exploration mission includes a lunar orbiter and an impactor. The spacecraft was launched on Oct 22, 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh at 06:23 IST. The vehicle was successfully inserted into lunar orbit on 8th Nov 2008. The estimated cost for the project is Rs 386 crore (US $80 million).

Over a two-year period, it is intended to survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and 3-dimensional topography. The polar regions are of special interest, as they might contain ice. The lunar mission carries five ISRO payloads and six payloads from other international space agencies including NASA, ESA, and the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency, which were carried free of cost.

And what is an MIP?
Moon Impact probe (MIP) developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), India's national space agency, is a small satellite that will be carried by Chandrayaan-1.

The MIP carries three instruments namely,
* Radar Altimeter - measures the altitude of the probe during descent and for qualifying technologies for future landing missions.
* Video Imaging System - acquires close range images of the surface of the Moon during descent. The video imaging system consists of analog CCD camera.
* Mass Spectrometer measures the constituents of lunar atmosphere during descent.

When we were young we always imagined creatively about moon. What was the moon made of, who will be there in the moon?, what would we do when we ever get a chance to reach to the moon and such other thoughts. But, nobody ever thought that we would get answers for such questions and will see India's flag on chandamama. Happy Birthday Chacha Nehru! I Love my India.

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