Thursday, October 30, 2008

Real science: Chandrayaan-1 update 2: Fourth orbit raising, mission objectives clarified, Russia on Chandrayaan-2, & foreign cost concerns

Related: More recent Chandrayaan updates are available.

Fourth orbit raising manoeuvre.

From ISRO Announcement dated 29 October 2008:
  1. "The fourth orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was carried out today (October 29, 2008) morning at 07:38 am IST." Orbital parameters after this manoeuvre: apogee = 267,000 km, perigee = 465 km.
  2. "One more orbit raising manoeuvre is scheduled to send the spacecraft to the vicinity of the moon at a distance of about 384,000 km from the Earth." That will be the last orbit raising - on November 3; after that it's down, down, down in moon orbit.

Clarifying Chandrayaan-1 objectives.

Narendra Bhandari, a member of the Science Advisory Board for Chandrayaan-1 on mission objectives: "Three things will be primarily done. One is what we call topographic mapping. That will be done for the whole moon at 5m resolution which has not been done so far. The other is the mineral mapping... Third thing we are doing is chemical and radioactive mapping."

Chandrayaan-2 lander/rover is a joint project with Russia.

From elsewhere (this has appeared in local newspapers too): "Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) is joining with ISRO for development of Chandrayaan-2 Lander/Rover... The rover will have an operating life-span of a month. It will run predominantly on solar power."

Indian spaceship, but a joint lander/rover.


Am I the only one puzzled? How come the comments that the Chandrayaan-1 spend is wasteful in a poor country are coming only from outside India? I'm yet to see it in an Indian newspaper. Even Indian online sources, when they talk about it (not often), seem to talk about it quoting external sources! Not to say there are no local detractors - you can never get a billion people to agree on anything. But I don't see even a hint of this sentiment in my own interactions with friends, or in local print media (I rarely watch TV news - so not sure of that).

Personally, I think the publicity alone might be worth the money. Not counting the satellite launch business that might come this way because of publicity.

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.


Anonymous said...

As a matter of interest, the Chandrayan 1 mission is supposed to have been completed at the cost of INR.380 Crore ($78 mil) - quoted as "half the cost of a jumbo jet" or "1/10th the cost of sponsoring the Indian Premier Cricket league", and "1/5th of what it would have cost NASA"

Tinkoo said...

There are multiple ways of looking at an expense of Rs 380 cr, some considerably less gloating than suggested by anonymous comment above.

But it will take a separate post to talk about it. May be I'll do it some time. I briefly discuss this in my first Chandrayaan post.

Hint: Ever wondered why poverty figures are compared with other countries using purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than normal exchange rate? Talk about per capita income in PPP, & project expenses using normal exchange rate! Very convenient.