Chandrayaan gets closer to moon

The first orbit reduction manoeuvre of the spacecraft which is orbiting the moon, was successfully performed.

Published: 11th November 2008 09:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th May 2012 04:55 PM   |  A+A-


BANGALORE: Everything seems to be going right for Chandrayaan-1, India’s maiden mission to the moon.

A day after the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft completed the complex lunar orbit insertion manoeuvre without any hiccups, the first orbit reduction manoeuvre of the spacecraft which is orbiting the moon, was successfully performed on Sunday night.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the spacecraft’s first orbit reduction manoeuvre began at 8.03 pm, when the 440 Newton liquid engine of the spacecraft was fired for about 57 seconds.

With this, the nearest point of Chandrayaan-1’s orbit (periselene) from the moon’s surface was reduced from 504 km to 200 km while the farthest point (aposelene) remained unchanged at 7,502 km.

In this elliptical orbit, Chandrayaan- 1 takes about ten and a half hours to circle the moon once.

ISRO officials said that the health and performance of the spacecraft is normal. The orbit of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft is being closely monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore with crucial support from Indian Deep Space Network antennae at Byalalu.

Officials added that further orbit reduction manoeuvres are scheduled in the coming days to take Chandrayaan- 1 to its final operational orbit of 100 km height from the lunar surface, following which, the Moon Impact Probe, one of the eleven scientific instruments (payloads) of Chandrayaan-1, will be released to hit the moon’s surface.

Chandrayaan-1 was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on October 22 and the lunar orbit insertion manoeuvre of the spacecraft was successfully performed on November 8, upon which the spacecraft entered into an orbit around the moon with a periselene of 504 km and an aposelene of 7,502 km.  


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