Bangalore, Nov 15: India's first attempt to send a probe to the moon's surface was successfully achieved on Friday, Nov 14 with the perfect placement of the Moon Impact Probe (MIP), ejected with precision by the unmanned moon mission Chandrayaan-1.
MIP took pictures and data during its 25 minute journey after it was separated from the spacecraft. All the data had been captured by the spacecraft and would be decimated at the ISTRAC in the city. Finally, the probe had a hard landing on the lunar surface that ended its journey. The 25-minute journey began with the separation from Chandrayaan- I Space-craft at 20:06 hrs IST. This was followed by a series of automatic operations which were carried out by firing the spin up rockets after achieving a safe distance of separation from Chandrayaan-1.
Later, the probe slowed down with the firing of its retro rocket and started its rapid descent towards the moon's surface.
Information from the its instruments was radioed to Chandrayaan-1 which recorded the data on its onboard memory for later readout, an ISRO release said here tonight.
With MIP's successful impact, the test and deployment of the remaining eight payloads of the spacecraft would be done in the coming few days.
The MIP is slightly smaller than an average TV cabinet. Inside the MIP there is a device to constantly check it's height as it falls. Another device checks what the air on the moon is made of. There is even a video camera to photograph the moon from close range. The photographs will help ISRO design Chandrayaan 2, India's first moon rover, a few years from now.