New Delhi: Scientists were a divided lot over sending onboard Chandrayaan-I the Moon Impactor Probe which later produced excellent pictures of the earth’s natural satellite.
The Moon Impactor Probe (MIP), which crashed onto the lunar surface on 14 November, was included as one of the 11 payloads of Chandrayaan-I at the suggestion of the then President A P J Abdul Kalam.
However, some scientists were doubtful about including the 28-kg MIP as a part of the payload and favoured carrying some other experiments, said senior scientist Narendra Bhandari, who has been involved with Chandrayaan-I since its inception.
On the one hand there was one experiment that “would weigh 28 kg and crash on the lunar surface and on the other hand, we had 10 experiments with a total weight of 50 kg,” he said.
Any given day, scientists would have preferred carrying more diverse experiments instead of one weighing 28 kg, Bhandari said.
But the breathtaking pictures beamed back on earth by MIP as it plunged towards the moon gladdened scientists. Never before had they seen pictures of the moon clicked from an altitude of six kms.