ESA title
Science & Exploration

Chandrayaan-1 in a nutshell

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ESA / Science & Exploration / Space Science

Analysing the Moon’s surface composition and investigating evolutionary processes

Name In Hindi, Chandrayaan means ‘Journey to the Moon’
Chandra - Moon, yaan - ship

Description Chandrayaan-1 will carry out high-resolution remote sensing of the Moon on a global scale. It will study lunar surface composition, produce a 3D map of the Moon’s surface and drop an impact probe for added surface studies.

Status In operation
Chandrayaan-1 was launched on 22 October 2008 atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota, India.

Journey After launch, Chandrayaan-1 will travel for about five and a half days to the Moon. The final operational orbit (polar, circular at 100-km altitude) will be reached about two weeks later.


Main objectives:

  • Analyse geological, mineralogical and topographical aspects of the lunar surface in unprecedented detail
  • Study the vertical distribution of crustal material
  • Investigate the processes that led to the formation of craters, maria and basins on the Moon
  • Explore space weathering processes, that result from the interaction of the solar wind and cosmic rays with the Moon’s surface
  • Analyse the magnetic anomalies on the lunar surface
  • Search for ices at the poles
  • Produce 3D maps of regions of particular scientific interest at high spatial resolution (5-10 m)
  • Drop an impact probe on the lunar surface to test near-surface properties and test impact technology

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