Chandrayaan-I is an un-manned lunar spacecraft (meaning it carries no human). The spacecraft (Chandrayaan-I) will be launched by a modified version of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C11). The lunar probe would revolve around Moon for two years taking high resolution images of the lunar surface and also mapping its chemical and mineralogical content. It also concentrates on the polar region where water and ice could possibly be found. The satellite weighs about 1304 kg and the estimated cost is about INR 3.8 billion.
Chandrayaan-I under construction
The Path of Chandrayaan
The Moon Exploration began on September 14, 1959, when Luna 2 was launched by
Chandrayaan-I will be followed by Chandrayaan-II in 2010/11. Chandrayaan-II will consist of the spacecraft itself and a landing platform with the Moon Rover. A moon rover is an automated motorized vehicle which moves around the surface of the moon, collecting soil and rock samples, do in situ chemical analysis and transmit it to the mother-spacecraft, Chandrayaan-II.
A artistic representation of the Chandrayaan-II rover
The Lunar Rover of Apollo 15 with James Irwin
ISRO also plans to undertake a manned space exploration by 2014 (send man to space).
If these missions succeed, then ISRO plans to send a manned mission to the moon on 2020. If ISRO succeeds in this,
I just hope all this works out for
Chandrayaan-I is ready for the launch
People who live in Chennai can actually see the launch of Chandrayaan-I. Look at North at the exactly 6:20am on October 22nd. You should be able to see the rocket shooting upwards provided the clear sky.