The tricolour has landed
Congratulate ISRO team
BR Srikanth, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Bangalore, November 14, 2008
First Published: 19:00 IST(14/11/2008)
Last Updated: 02:16 IST(15/11/2008)

An entirely indigenously manufactured device, the Moon Impact Probe (MIP) with 
the tricolour painted on it - about the size of a large television set - 
ejected from the Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft, touched down successfully on the 
Moon's surface at 8.31 pm on Friday, marking a giant leap forward for Indian 
space research.
Seconds later, nearly 400,000 km away, at the Indian Space Research 
Organisation's (ISRO) Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) station 
in Bangalore, a scientist emerged to greet the waiting crowd of newspersons and 
onlookers. Wordlessly, he gave the 'thumbs up' signal. The crowd erupted into 
Inside, in the control room, with its large, blue screens all over the walls, 
all the way to the ceiling, scientists monitoring the progress of India's Moon 
mission beamed and hugged one another, while badam sweets from a box resembling 
the MIP were distributed. "We were all as excited as little children," M 
Annadurai, project director of Chandrayaan, told HT. "The mission was accurate 
to the second," Annadurai added. The MIP was released at 8.06 pm, while 
Chandrayaan was orbiting over the Malarpet Mountain on the Moon. It landed in 
the Moon's Shakleton Crater, 25 minutes later.
"During its descent the MIP has taken visuals of the Moon, from its equator to 
its south pole, never taken before," said Annadurai. "This data will be 
downloaded from Chandrayaan later tonight."

"It's been a great night, very exciting to watch," said Paul D Spudis, a senior 
lunar scientist from NASA's Lunar and Planetary Institute at Houston. He is at 
ISRO to monitor the data from a payload Chandrayaan is carrying for NASA.
The MIP contains a spectrometer to analyse the lunar atmosphere, an altimeter 
to measure heights and a video camera. "Our next big task is to put an Indian 
astronaut into space in an Indian spacecraft, and after that the unmanned 
mission to Mars. For both these the data we shall now collect will be of great 
use," said ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair.


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