On October 29, 2008, Chandrayaan-1’s Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) was operated successfully, controlled by the Spacecraft Control Centre of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore.
The first images take by the Chandrayaan-1’s TMC was received and processed by the Indian Deep Space Network at Byalalu and the Indian Space Science Data Centre, respectively.
Chandrayaan-1’s TMC took the first picture at 8AM on October 29, 2008, from a height of 9,000 km.
The first image taken was that of the Northern coast of Australia. The second image was taken from a height of 70,000 km at 12.30 pm and showed the Southern Coast of Australia.
The Terrain Mapping Camera records the visible light reflected from any object and delivers black and white pictures.
The TMC has a resolution of about 5 metres.
The TMC was taken as one of the eleven payloads on Chandrayaan-1 to deliver one of the crucial mission objectives of Chandryaan-1.
Besides TMC, the other four Indian payloads of Chandrayaan-1 are the Hyper spectral Imager (HySI), Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI), High Energy X-ray Spectrometer (HEX) and the Moon Impact Probe (MIP). The other six payloads of Chandrayaan-1 are from abroad.
It may be recalled that the 1380 kg Chandrayaan-1 was successfully launched into an initial elliptical orbit around the Earth by PSLV-C11 on October 22, 2008. This was followed by four orbit raising manoeuvres, which together raised Chandrayaan-1’s orbit to a much higher altitude. The spacecraft is now circling the Earth in an orbit whose apogee (farthest point to Earth) lies at 267,000 km (Two lakh sixty seven thousand km) and perigee (nearest point to Earth) at 465 km. In this orbit, Chandrayaan-1 takes about six days to go round the Earth once. The spacecraft performance is being continuously monitored and is normal.