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Chandrayaan-1 pictures among best ever

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This close-up picture of the moon's surface is taken by Moon Impact Probe (MIP) on November 14, 2008, as it approached it after separating from Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. ISRO photo

BANGALORE (BNS): The first set of pictures taken from the Moon Impact Probe is probably the best photos of lunar craters taken by any lunar mission, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Some of the pictures have a high resolution as five meters, against the 15 meters resolutions of moon pictures taken by probes from other countries. The ISRO scientists said that Chandrayaan-1 would take about a year to photograph the complete lunar surface.

Besides the very recent pictures from the MIP, there are also some excellent photographs taken by the Terrain Mapping Camera. Photographs from both the payloads are excellent close-shots of craters, including the 117-km wide Moretus crater. Pictures cover several parts of the Moon, including the equatorial and polar regions.

The MIP took close-up pictures of the Moon's surface on November 14, as it was approaching the lunar surface after separating from the spacecraft. The pictures give excellent details of the lunar surface.

ISRO said its scientists would study the images and data from the MIP during its 25-minute descent to prepare for a future soft landing. India proposes to send a rover in the Chandrayaan-2 in 2012.

Meanwhile, ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair said the success of the MIP, while boosting the confidence of ISRO to undertake more challenging missions in the future has sent out a strong message to the world that India means business in the field of space.
“It has validated many of our assumptions and many of the principles involved in interplanetary travel. It's really a big boon. We can now take up travel to any other planet with confidence,” Nair said in an interview to an agency on Saturday.

On Friday night, MIP marked yet another landmark for India’s ambitious space programme, when it crash-landed on lunar surface with tricolour painted on all sides. “ISRO's name has been high all the time. This is another significant event. I am sure in the global community, we will have much more respect than what was (there) in the past,” Nair said.

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