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Chandrayaan-1 shifted to VAB

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Hectic activity was under way at ISRO’s launch centre in Sriharikota, 100 km north of here on Tuesday, with the integration of the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft with the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C11) proceeding smoothly.

The spacecraft was moved to the 83-metre tall Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) of the second launch pad complex on the midnight of October 13/14. It is in the VAB that the PSLV-C11 rocket stands majestically on a massive launch pedestal.

M. Annadurai, Project Director, Chandrayaan-1, said from Sriharikota, “The spacecraft is being assembled on top of the vehicle now. Initial tests are going on.” The tests involved checking the radio frequency and computer connectivity to the ground.

“We are testing them so that we can get ready for the countdown. If the weather permits, the launch will take place on October 22. There are no other issues. Technically, we are in good shape. The whole team is in an upbeat mood,” Mr. Annadurai added.

The 52-hour final countdown starts from 4.00 a.m. on October 20.

Chandrayaan-1 is India’s first mission to the moon. The spacecraft will take remote-sensing images of the moon, which will help in locating minerals and chemicals on the lunar soil. It will help in confirming the presence of water in the South Pole of the moon.

The remote-sensing images will also provide clues on the early evolution of the moon.

The PSLV-C11, also called PSLV-XL, is a more powerful variant of the normal PSLV. The PSLV-XL’s strap-on motors are longer and carry more solid propellants than the normal PSLVs. Hence, the suffix XL, which stands for extra long.

The PSLV-XL weighs 316 tonnes and is 44.4 metres tall.

Related stories:
  • Chandrayaan to be launched on October 22
  • Moon mission is not expensive, says ISRO
  • Chandrayaan-1 taking final tests
  • Cabinet clears Chandrayaan-2
  • Chandrayaan-1 on course for launch

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