Press release

Kiruna, 2008-11-14


Indian Chandrayaan-1 satellite with Swedish instrument SARA has reached its final orbit round the Moon

Chandrayaan-1 launch, 22 October 2008 (photo: ISRO)

Chandrayaan-1 launch, 22 October 2008 (Photo: ISRO)

After a last orbit maneuver on 12 November, the Indian Chandrayaan-1 satellite with the Swedish instrument SARA on board has reached its final orbit around the Moon. The spacecraft is now in a circular orbit about 100 km above the lunar surface. Chandrayaan-1 was launched on 22 October 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) in India and was inserted into lunar orbit on 8 November 2008. Tomorrow (15 November 2008), a small probe will be released from the satellite and after a 20 minute descent will impact the Moon surface. "Our instrument SARA will be switched on for the first time on 7 December 2008," says Professor Stas Barabash, Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) in Kiruna.

SARA (Sub-Kev Reflection Atom Analyzer) is one of 11 instruments from India, Europe and USA on board Chandrayaan. SARA will study how the space environment interacts with the Moon. The instrument was developed jointly by IRF and the Space Physics Laboratory of Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (SPL-VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, India, with contributions from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Sagamihara, Japan. The SARA experiment is the first collaborative project between IRF in Kiruna and India.

To emphasize the cooperation with India, IRF is organizing an Indian cultural hour on Monday 17 December, 10:30 - 11:30 in the Aula at the Space Campus in Kiruna, followed by an Indian lunch in Restaurant Atmosfären.



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webmaster*, 2008-11-14, updated 2008-11-25

The Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) is a governmental research institute which conducts research and postgraduate education in atmospheric physics, space physics and space technology. Measurements are made in the atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere and around other planets with the help of ground-based equipment (including radar), stratospheric balloons and satellites. IRF was established (as Kiruna Geophysical Observatory) in 1957 and its first satellite instrument was launched in 1968. The head office is in Kiruna (geographic coordinates 67.84° N, 20.41° E) and IRF also has offices in Umeå, Uppsala and Lund.

Institutet för rymdfysik, IRF, är ett statligt forskningsinstitut under Utbildningsdepartementet. IRF bedriver grundforskning och forskarutbildning i rymdfysik, atmosfärsfysik och rymdteknik. Mätningar görs i atmosfären, jonosfären, magnetosfären och runt andra planeter med hjälp av ballonger, markbaserad utrustning (bl a radar) och satelliter. För närvarande har IRF instrument ombord på satelliter i bana runt tre planeter, jorden, Mars och Saturnus. IRF har ca 100 anställda och bedriver verksamhet i Kiruna (huvudkontoret), Umeå, Uppsala och Lund.