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Emily LakdawallaNovember 14, 2008

Chandrayaan-1 probe impact successful

Via The Hindu comes the news that Chandrayaan-1, having settled into its final 100-kilometer-altitude science orbit yesterday, successfully released and monitored the impact of its 35-kilogram Moon Impact Probe at 8:31 pm IST (15:01 UTC) today, November 14. The Moon Impact Probe was instrumented, and transmitted images during its 25-minute descent. The Hindu reports that the Indian Space Research Organisation promised to release images on Saturday. More important than the images, though, was the symbolism of the hard landing of an Indian-made object (painted, of course, with the Indian flag) on the Moon. The impact was timed to coincide with the celebration of Children's Day in India. The probe landed near Shackleton crater, at the Moon's south pole.EDIT: According to a completely unofficial Twitter feed for Chandrayaan-1 from an unknown source (so take this with a grain of salt): "According to initial reports, MIP has survived the landing. I'll be studying the debris for more details along with data sent back." If this is true, COOOOOL -- but we need to wait for confirmation from a more official source.

ANOTHER EDIT: According to the official release, "the probe had a hard landing on the lunar surface that terminated its functioning.

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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