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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Scientific Objectives

The Chandrayaan-1 mission is aimed at high-resolution remote sensing of the moon in visible, near infrared (NIR), low energy X-rays and high-energy X-ray regions. Specifically the objectives are

  • To prepare a three-dimensional atlas (with high spatial and altitude resolution of 5-10 m) of both near and far side of the moon.

  • To conduct chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface for distribution of mineral and chemical elements such as Magnesium, Aluminum, Silicon, Calcium, Iron and Titanium as well as high atomic number elements such as Radon, Uranium & Thorium with high spatial resolution.

    The Simultaneous photo geological, mineralogical and chemical mapping through Chandrayaan-1 mission will enable identification of different geological units to infer the early evolutionary history of the Moon. The chemical mapping will enable to determine the stratigraphy and nature of the Moon's crust and thereby test certain aspects of magma ocean hypothesis. This may allow to determine the compositions of impactors that bombarded the Moon during its early evolution which is also relevant to the formation of the Earth.

    Radiation Environment

    Radiation Environment of the Moon

    Radiation environment of the Moon produced by solar radiation and solar and galactic cosmic rays: The reflectance spectrum is useful for mineral identification, the fluorescent X-ray spectrum and solar and galactic cosmic-ray produced gamma radiation for chemical mapping, and radiogenic gamma and alpha particle spectrum for mapping of radioactive nuclides (U, Th, K, etc.) and in understanding the leakage of radon from the lunar interior and its transport on the lunar surface. The uranium decay chain, which produces 222Rn and its daughters, forming a thin 'paint' on the lunar surface, are shown on the right. The temperature regimes on the sunlit and night side of the Moon and the permanently shadowed cold Polar Regions are shown schematically. (Ref: Current Science, Bhandari 2004)

    Mission Objectives

  • To realise the mission goal of harnessing the science payloads, lunar craft and the launch vehicle with suitable ground support systems including Deep Space Network (DSN) station.

  • To realise the integration and testing, launching and achieving lunar polar orbit of about 100 km, in-orbit operation of experiments, communication/ telecommand, telemetry data reception, quick look data and archival for scientific utilisation by scientists.

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