Loss of Chandrayann-1

I am disappointed by the sudden loss of Chandrayaan-1 the Indian moon probe.

There is some talk in the press about whether this was worth it, was there any science done.

The whole thing was great. It was nice to see another nation join the moon club, and being somewhat independent and based on the skills of its own scientists.

70,000 photo’s is plenty and I we get to see more (esp of the moon landing sites and far side of the moon -> this will help with the conspiracy theories out there).

Also a really interesting study on radiation going to the moon, from the Van Allen belts.

It looks like it peaks from 130,000 microGray per hour, down to around 4,000 per hour (and probably lower say 600 ph further out)

I think this is the first time I have seen actual data on this (although it is somewhat small and hard to read). It brings up the interesting topic of estimating the radiation does for the Apollo astronauts.

Take Apollo 11, and 8 day mission to the moon.

This would have been

  • Twice through the proton belt – 2x 130K = 260K
  • Twice through the electron belt – 2x2x 4K =16K

With the rest of the time outside of the belts at background of say 600 (for 186hrs)

  • 186hrs x 0.6 = 112K

This would calcualte the total radiation exposure at around 387K microGrays or around 0.4 Sieverts.

This does not assume any protection from the spacecraft so is an upper limit I would think. It is a relatively high dose, but is still below the limits for radiation sickness.

Based off this, could they have made it too the moon and back; yes from a radiation point of view this seems to confirm it is possible. (however would recommend flying direct!)

Sorry to see this probe go, I think there is some interesting science here, and look forward to the pictures!

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