Chandrayaan-1 nears 75,000 km height, inches closer to Moon

October 25, 2008 at 6:46 pm | Posted in entertainment, History, India, Information, World | Leave a comment
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Bangalore, Oct 25 (PTI) India’s Chandrayaan-1 has covered 20 per cent of its journey towards Moon as ISRO scientists today performed the second orbit-raising manoeuvre. The lunar spacecraft’s on-board 440 Newton Liquid engine was fired for about 16 minutes from 5.48 am.

With this engine firing, Chandrayaan-1’s apogee (farthest point to earth) has been raised to 74,715 km, while its perigee (closest point to earth) has been raised to 336 km, ISRO spokesperson S Satish said. ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair termed today’s orbit-raising operation as “record-breaking”.

“So far, Indian-made satellites have reached to a height of only 36,000 km. Today’s firing has taken Chandrayaan-1 to something like 75,000 km.

That’s well beyond what we have reached so far. It was a good event, and done precisely,” Nair, also secretary in the Department of Space, said.

Indicating the complexity of the India’s first unmanned lunar mission, he said when the spacecraft is closer to the earth, its gravitational field is well defined and scientists can shape the trajectory. “When you go further and further, earth’s influence comes down.

Influence of Moon and Sun becomes predominant. Even other planets will have an influence on it,” he said.

Moon lies at a distance of about 3,84,000 km from earth. ISRO officials said Chandrayaan-1 is expected to settle into lunar orbit, 100 km above Moon, on November 8.

All systems on board the spacecraft, launched on October 22, were functioning normally, ISRO said, adding that further orbit-raising manoeuvres to take Chandrayaan-1 to still higher orbits are planned in the next few days.

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