Chandrayaan pushed closer to lunar orbit

October 29th, 2008 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS  

ISROBangalore, Oct 29 (IANS) India’s first unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 was pushed closer to lunar orbit Wednesday after the fourth orbit-raising manoevure lifted the spacecraft to 267,000 km away from the earth (apogee) and 465 km perigee (closest to the Earth), an official of the Indian space agency said.”The 440 Newton liquid engine aboard the spacecraft was fired for 192 seconds (three minutes and 12 seconds) in the fourth orbit-raising operation carried earlier in the day,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) director S. Satish told IANS.

In this deep space orbit, Chandrayaan will take six days and 15 minutes to complete one revolution around the Earth.

“In the next orbit-raising exercise, scheduled for Nov 3, the spacecraft will be fired to enter the elliptical lunar orbit, which will be 386,000 km away from the Earth (apogee),” Satish said.

The health and other critical functions of the spacecraft are normal.

It is able to receive and send signals to the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu, about 40 km from here.

The space agency’s telemetry, tracking and command network (Istrac) is commanding the spacecraft and carrying out the manoevures.

“All going well, Chandrayaan will be placed in the final lunar orbit Nov 8, which will be about 100 km from the surface of the moon,” Satish added.

Chandrayaan carries 11 scientific instruments, including six foreign payloads - two from the US, three from the European Space Agency (ESA) and one from Bulgaria. The remaining five are indigenously designed and developed by various centres of the state-run ISRO.

Chandrayaan was blasted off Oct 22 at 6.22 a.m. on board the 316-tonne polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV-C11) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota spaceport, about 80 km north of Chennai.

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