Sunday, November 2, 2008

Real science: Why is Chandrayaan-1 trajectory so complex?

Related: More recent Chandrayaan updates are available.

US manned launches took 4 days to reach moon; some Soviet launches took two. Why are we taking3D trajectory of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft of ISRO on its way to moon a fortnight?

While I haven't seen any official explanation from ISRO nor an analysis of Chandrayaan-1 trajectory elsewhere, my speculation is: answer might be a trade between cost & travel time. They are probably trying to get a gravity boost from earth rather than burning fuel - hence lower weight, hence lower cost. Someone better qualified at making sense of trajectory might offer a saner comment.

More (& wild) speculation - safety. By always staying in earth orbit or moon orbit - even a highly elliptical one - could you increase chances of recapturing the ship even if something went wrong during the moon-capture maneuver?

What next?

  1. All Chandrayaan posts.
  2. All moon posts, including fiction set on moon. A-rated stories probably won't disappoint. For free fiction, search for "full text" (without quotes). Or browse through all free fiction posts, including stories unrelated to moon.
  3. Subscribe to Variety SF master feed, Chandrayaan feed, or moon posts feed.


Dennis D. McDonald said...

This may answer your question:


Dennis McDonald
Alexandria, Virginia USA

Tinkoo said...

Thanks Dennis. That was very helpful.