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Chandrayaan spacecraft passes critical test

BANGALORE (BNS): India’s spacecraft for Chandrayaan-I, the unmanned moon mission slated for later this year, has successfully completed a critical ground test.

The Press Trust of India quoted an ISRO official as saying that the lunar craft passed a test for its endurance in harsh space environment. The two-week long vacuum test to evaluate the thermal design of the spacecraft and to verify its endurance in space was completed at ISRO Satellite Centre in Bangalore.

“The test was satisfactory,” the PTI quoted an ISRO official as saying. “Environment and acoustics tests will follow, and the pre-shipment review is expected by this month-end,” the official said.

Sometime next week, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman G Madhavan Nair is expected to formally announce the date for the eagerly awaited moon mission, a first for India. As of now, ISRO is looking at October 22-26 as the launch window for the launch.

The 316-ton Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL) will carry the 1,400 kg Chandrayaan-I satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at the spaceport in Sriharikota. Chandrayaan would also exemplify the wide international cooperation India has in its space programmes: six scientific payloads from NASA, ESA and Bulgaria would be on board. Besides five Indian instruments would be onboard Chandrayaan-I.

The mission hopes to undertake full mapping of the moon, which does not exist today. The spacecraft will however not land on the moon.

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