Kiruna Goes to the Moon

The Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) in Kiruna opens up a new destination for its research – and a new partner. In hard competition, the satellite instrument SARA (Sub-keV Atom Reflecting Analyzer) proposed by IRF has been selected to fly to the Moon onboard an Indian satellite, Chandrayaan-1. Chandrayaan-1 will be launched at the end of 2007 and will be the first Indian mission to the Moon. It is devoted to high resolution remote sensing of the lunar surface in visible, near-infrared, X-ray and low energy gamma rays.

The SARA experiment will contribute to these studies through remote sensing of atoms kicked-off from the outermost layer of the surface by the solar wind. Since the Moon does not have an atmosphere the solar wind (a stream of charged particles from the Sun) impacts the Moon surface constantly.

The SARA instrument will study how the solar wind interacts with the Moon surface as well as addressing such issues important for future Moon exploration and exploitation as composition of the Moon surface and how the lunar surface changes under influence of the solar wind.

SARA is the first collaborative project between IRF in Kiruna and ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization. Besides Sweden and India, scientists from Japan and Switzerland will participate in the SARA project. To celebrate the SARA selection, IRF in Kiruna is arranging the event “Kiruna Goes to the Moon” at the Space Campus in Kiruna on Friday 22 October.

The programme is as follows. Press and media are welcome to attend (please register your interest to Rick McGregor, Information Officer, IRF, tel. +46-980-79178, +46-70-276 6020, <rick.mcgregor*>).

Press event
“Kiruna Goes to the Moon”

When: Friday 22 October 2004
Where: The Aula, Space Campus, Kiruna

09.00-09.50 Documentary “The Moon” (BBC)
09.50-10.15 Coffee and cake
10.15-11.15 Presentations:
– Moon and comparative magnetosphere studies at IRF.
Chandrayaan-1 mission:
– Science with SARA
– SARA instrument
11.15 Press conference and/or questions

More information:
Rick McGregor, Information Officer, IRF, tel. +46-980-79178, +46-70-276 6020, <rick.mcgregor*>
Stas Barabash, Professor, IRF, tel. +46-980-79122, <stas.barabash*>
Mats Holmström, scientist, IRF, tel. +46-980-79186, <mats.holmstrom*>

Web pages:

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