Scientists happy over Chandrayaan data

New aspects about planets and the moon revealed


Scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA and European Space Agency (ESA) reviewed the data sets obtained from the 11 payloads on-board Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.  
ISRO spokesperson S Satish said that some of the data revealed new aspects about the interaction between planets and moon. “The data obtained is quite adequate to keep us busy for the next few years,” he said. The analysis of the data will be presented to a peer review committee. Any information, declared as new findings by the committee would be made public, he added.

A release by ISRO states four instruments – Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC), Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), Hyperspectral Imager (HySI) and Smart near Infrared Spectrometer (SIR-2) – have provided extensive data on moon’s topography, mineralogy and chemistry.  TMC and HySI payloads of ISRO have covered about 70% of the lunar surface, while M3 covered more than 95% of the same and SIR-2 has provided high-resolution spectral data on the mineralogy of the moon.

The Sub KeV Atom Reflecting Analyser (SARA), a joint payload of Sweden and India, covered the entire lunar surface several times and enabled scientists to study the interaction between the solar wind and a planetary body like moon without a magnetic field.  Additionally, interesting data on lunar polar areas was provided by Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI) and High Energy X-ray Spectrometer (HEX) of ISRO as well as Miniature Synthetic Aperture radar (Mini-SAR) of USA.

HEX made about 200 orbits over the lunar poles and Mini-SAR provided complete coverage of both North and South Polar Regions of the Moon. Another ESA payload – Chandrayaan-1 Imaging X-ray Spectrometer (C1XS) – detected more than two dozen weak solar flares during the mission duration.
Some teams have expressed their delight at having mapped the polar regions of the moon from Chandrayaan-1’s orbit using imaging radar for the first time.  It is expected to take about 6 months to 3 years for the detailed analysis of the  data accrued from Chandrayaan-1.

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