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2001

India plants flag on Moon

"Impact probe" crashlands to glory

India has become the fourth nation to join the stuff-on-the-Moon club,
after the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in lunar orbit successfully launched
an impact probe at the lunar surface this afternoon. The 35-kg impactor
was blazoned with the Indian flag.

"It will signify the entry of India on Moon," an Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO) official said, quoted by the Times of India. The
probe drop was described as a "perfect operation".

The Moon Impact Probe (MIP) module was primarily intended "to
demonstrate the technologies required for landing the probe at a desired
location on the Moon", according to ISRO. It consisted of a "honeycomb
structure" and carried a video camera and a mass spectrometer for
examination of the tenuous lunar atmosphere during descent.

Indian TV reported the story under the headers "Indian flag lands on
lunar surface" and "Tricolour on Moon".

Chandrayaan-1 will remain in orbit above the Moon for two years,
carrying out scientific research. Apart from the MIP it carries a
further ten experiments and instruments.

--
tnn

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