Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 114 Issue 6 December 2005 pp 711-716
The Indian lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 will have a mass of 523 kg in a 100 km circular polar orbit around the Moon. The main factors that dictate the design of the Indian Moon mission are to use the present capability of launch vehicles and to achieve the scientific objectives in the minimum development time and cost. The detailed mission planning involves trade-off studies in payload optimization and the transfer trajectory determination that accomplishes these requirements. Recent studies indicate that for an optimal use of the existing launch vehicle and space-craft systems, highly elliptical inclined orbits are preferable. This indeed is true for the Indian Moon mission Chandrayaan-1. The proposed launch scenario of the Indian Moon mission program and capabilities of this mission are described in this paper, highlighting the design challenges and innovations. Further, to reach the target accurately, appropriate initial transfer trajectory characteristics must be chosen. A numerical search for the initial conditions combined with numerical integration produces the near accurate solution for this problem. The design of such transfer trajectories is discussed in this paper.