Dr. Avnish Jolly, 22nd September, 2008:Chandrayaan is undergoing evaluation and different tests. It is yet to clear the vibration and acoustic tests, which it would be subjected to later this month. These tests will simulate the conditions that the probe will need to bear at the tine of launch.
These include high-temperatures, vibrations during take off and not to mention, the tremendous noise that is expected of a typical rocket launch. With these efforts, the Indian space program has come a long way since its initial stages when the first rocket transporter happened to be a bicycle, which carried the 9 kilo rocket to the "launch pad"! That was back in 1963 when visionaries like Vikram Sarabhai and APJ Abdul Kalam laid the foundation of what has become one of the greatest success stories of India.
We are confident that everything goes as planned; any of the coming days from mid October i.e. between Vijay Dashmi to Deepawali (between 9th October to 29th October, 2008) would be remembered. Our very first, homespun lunar probe, Chandrayaan is all set to make its first voyage to our nearest celestial body the Moon on these tentative dates depending on the weather conditions then. With the successful mission no doubt put India in the elite club of counties who have been able to send missions to moon.
Chandrayaan will carry 11 payloads — five from India, three from the European Space Agency (ESA), one from the Bulgarian Space Agency (BSA) and two from NASA, making it a truly global initiative. The two-year mission will be invaluable as the Chandrayaan is programmed to orbit the Lunar surface and digitally map it. It will also send information on the traces of the composition of the lunar surface apart from looking for atomic minerals such as thorium and uranium. The probe is also equipped with high-resolution cameras which could help shed some light on the existence of water on the moon.
An upgraded PSLV launch vehicle will be used to transport the probe to the lunar orbit. Due to the modifications, the PSLV C-11 will have a lift-off weight of 316 tonnes, which is much higher than the "standard" 294-ton version. Additionally, the payload capacity too has been increased from 1600 kg to 1800 kg. The PSLV has been the most successful launch vehicle for ISRO till date. It also holds the record for sending as many as 10 satellites simultaneously during its last mission. This time round, it is all set to break its own record by carrying 11 different payloads.