India's lunar spacecraft positioned on rocket
A week before launch, India's lunar mission has progressed one step
further, with the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft installed atop the rocket ferrying
it, the Indo-Asian News Service reported today.
"The spacecraft was fitted to
the rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C11 (PSLV C11) last night. Today the
heat shield will be fitted to make the rocket ready for moving to the launch
pad," M. Annadurai, project director of Chandrayaan-1 said.
The rocket is
scheduled to be moved to the launch pad Saturday. Before that, all the systems
are being tested over a four-day period.
Once the fully loaded rocket is
moved to the launch pad on a mobile platform, the systems will be again tested
for four days more, the report said.
India's first lunar spacecraft
Chandrayaan-1, built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), is likely
to lift off next week from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, about 90 km from
south Indian city Chennai, five years after the Indian government cleared the
It will make an entry into the lunar atmosphere for a two-year
The spacecraft will orbit around the moon at an altitude of 100 km
to map the topography and the mineralogical resources of the lunar soil, ISRO
The 52-hour countdown for the launch will begin at 4 am local time next
Monday. The launch to deliver the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft into orbit is
scheduled at 6.20 am next Wednesday, Oct. 22.