India Sent Chandrayaan-1 to the Moon 10 Years Ago – Here’s How!

The Quint is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the launch of India’s first mission to the moon. 

Cyrus John
Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first mission to the Moon.
Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first mission to the Moon.
(Photo: The Quint)


Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
Cameraperson: Abhay Sharma

It’s been 10 years since India launched its first mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-1. The launch took place on 22 October 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to conduct experiments and beam home pictures of the lunar surface.

The project was announced by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 15 August 2003.

The lunar probe was successfully inserted into orbit on 8 November 2008.

The impact probe of the Chandrayaan-1 separated from the craft and landed on the Moon on 14 November 2008, putting India’s flag on the Moon for the first time.

India became the fifth nation to have its flag on the Moon after USA, Russia (then USSR), China and Japan.

The Chandrayaan-1 probe weighed 1,400 kilograms and the estimated cost of the whole project was Rs 386 crore.

Amidst various experiments that Chandrayaan-1 conducted in space, it also sent a lot of pictures (70,000 images) while completing almost 3,000 rotations around the Moon. Chandrayaan-1 was also responsible for being the first to discover water and ice on the Moon’s surface.

The mission was originally scheduled for 2 years in space but after 312 days, the Moon rover stopped sending signals due to a range of technical problems. It was discovered that the cause was overheating. After that, the mission couldn’t be salvaged and was officially declared over.

Almost 7 years later on 2 July 2016, NASA discovered the probe and then relocated it into its lunar orbit.

The Chandrayaan-1 was the brainchild of former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam and the mission was a big boost for the Indian space program.

It was instrumental in giving ISRO the push it need to launch another mission to the Moon, ie: Chandrayaan-2.

The Quint is celebrating the lunar mission’s 10-year anniversary.

(This story was first published on 22 October 2017. It has been reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark the 10th anniversary of Chandrayaan-I’s launch)

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Published: 21 Oct 2017,04:02 PM IST