Department of Physics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India

TPSC seminar

Time and date: 4 October 2011 (Tuesday), 4:00 PM
Venue: Seminar Hall

Title: Success story of Chandrayaan-I

Speaker: Dr. S.M. Ahmed, Central Instruments Laboratory, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad

Abstract: The most ambitious space program of Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO, viz., Chandrayaan-I has catapulted not only the bright minds who work for ISRO, but the youth of the nation. Entire nation is proud of the scientists/engineers of ISRO who have contributed to the discoveries which are of once-in-a-century class. The success of Chandrayaan-I has lived up to, rather more than the predicted scale of heights in the space exploration. ISRO has demonstrated a true leadership quality by inviting the space super powers (NASA, ESA) to join for a free ride on their maiden space mission. Chandrayaan-1 was a 550-kg spacecraft carrying 11 instruments out of which 6 were of opportunity class payloads and the remaining 5 were indigenously built. The Moon Impact Probe mission was a unique experiment designed by ISRO to have an impact at a specified site (Lunar southern pole) and sample the lunar ambience during the descend journey. In the capacity of Payload Scientist/Project Manager the author has developed the CHACE (CHandra's Altitudinal Composition Explorer) instrument for probing the lunar ambience during the MIP mission. The talk would focus on how a group of hand picked "dare to dream" members developing the most sensitive quadrupole mass spectrometer ever to leave earth?s gravity, with zero experience in space borne instruments would be discussed. The CHACE instrument on its maiden journey to the closest heavenly body brought the direct evidence of water on 28th November 2008 along with the abundance wealth of compositional data from the lunar ambience; specific mention would be made on how the quality of the instrument was maintained as per the strict norms of ISRO's Quality and Assurance guidelines.
[Direct evidence for water (H2O) in the sunlit lunar ambience from CHACE on MIP of Chandrayaan-I, Planetary and Space Sciences, 58, 947-950, 2010; R. Sridharan, S.M. Ahmed, Tirtha Pratim Das, P.Sreelatha, P. Pradeepkumar, Neha Naik, Gogulapati Supriya]