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Chandrayaan I mission to undergo two more tests

BANGALORE: The uncertainty over the date of the launch of India's unmanned lunar mission programme, Chandrayaan-I, continued with ISRO officials today stating that the lunar spacecraft will have to go through two more major tests and its reviews studied before fixing the time.

"We have to still complete two tests -- the acoustic test and the vibration test -- and test reviews have to be studied. We will work out the details after the test review. The earliest launch window period available was October 19 to 26," T K Alex, Director of the ISRO Satellite Centre told reporters while unveiling the spacecraft here today.

"We also have two opportunities in November and December", he said. The objective is to launch the spacecraft when the moon during its rotation around the earth is at the closest distance to it. "We want the distance to be the minimum, to ensure that the spacecraft would have to travel less and fuel could be saved," he said.

"We are also worried about the weather disturbances. If the weather is favourable and two tests completed and reviewed, we will be able to launch the spacecraft as early as possible," he said.

The majority of the tests had been completed and the spacecraft had passed the critical thermal vacuum test by putting it through a simulated harsh environment found on the moon, including extreme temperature.

"The spacecraft will orbit the earth for sometime before being fired into the moon's orbit. It would take five-and-a half days to complete the final lap and approximately 20 days for it from the initial launch on the earth to its position in the earth's orbit. The first images are expected to come within 30 days of the launch", Alex said.(PTI)

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