Chandrayaan spacecraft moved further up in spaceOctober 26th, 2008 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Oct 26 (IANS) India’s maiden moon probe spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 has reached nearly half the distance to the lunar orbit, crossing the 150,000-km mark from the earth Sunday morning.The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) completed third orbit-raising manoeuvre initiated at 7.08 a.m. Sunday firing the liquid apogee motor for about nine and a half minutes.
With this, Chandrayaan spacecraft has entered a much higher elliptical orbit around the earth.
“The signals from the spacecraft are strong and everything is progressing as expected,” S.K.Shivakumar, director ISRO Telmetry, Tracking and Command Network, told IANS.
The apogee (farthest point to earth) of this orbit lies at 164,600 km while the perigee (nearest point to earth) is at 348 km. In this orbit, Chandrayaan-1 takes about 73 hours to go round the earth once.
According to Shivakumar, the next orbit raising activity is scheduled for Oct 29 when the spacecraft will be taken to a distance of 265,000 km from the earth.
This will be followed by another orbit raising manoeuvre Nov 3.
The antennas of the Indian Deep Space Network at Byalalu are playing a crucial role in tracking and communicating with the spacecraft. The spacecraft performance is normal, officials said.
The spacecraft was injected into geostationary transfer orbit - 255 km perigee and 22,860 km apogee - on Oct 22.
The next day the spacecraft was raised to 305 km perigee and 39,000 km apogee.
The second orbit-raising activity was carried out Oct 25, raising the spacecraft to 336 km perigee and 74,715 km apogee.