Chandrayaan nudged closer
Nov 10 (IANS) India's first unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-I
was nudged closer to the moon late Monday in a second orbit-reduction
manoeuvre, a top Indian space official said.
manoeuvre lasted 866 seconds.
spacecraft is at 187 km from the moon (periselene) and 255
km away (aposelene), orbiting elliptically once in every 2
hours and 16 minutes over the polar regions of the lunar planet,"
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) director S. Satish
liquid engine onboard the spacecraft was remotely fired for
14.4 minutes from 9.58 p.m. to 22.12 p.m. IST by the ISRO
scientists from the spacecraft control centre at its telemetry,
tracking and command network (Istrac) here.
space agency's deep space network (DSN) at Byalalu, about
40 km from India's tech hub, coordinated the complex manoeuvre
with the support of ground stations. Signals to and from the
spacecraft were excellent, the official said.
complex exercise enabled Chandrayaan to move swiftly from
7,500 km aposelene late Sunday to 255 km, which is a remarkable
feat. All sub-systems and instruments onboard are functioning
satisfactorily," Satish said.
scientists also observed the motion of the spacecraft after
the manoeuvre for a short distance to extrapolate its orbital
will undergo two more orbit-lowering manoeuvres over the next
two days to enter into its designated slot of 100 x 100km
from the lunar surface for a two-year rendezvous with the
plans to eject the moon impact probe Nov 14-15 from the spacecraft
and crash it onto the lunar surface at a designated area,
where the Indian tri-colour will be 'hoisted'.
carries 11 scientific instruments, including six foreign payloads-two
from the US, three from the European Space Agency (ESA) and
one from Bulgaria.
remaining five are indigenously designed and developed by
various centres of the state-run ISRO.
spacecraft was blasted off Oct 22 onboard the 316-tonne Polar
Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C11) from the Satish Dhawan
space centre at Sriharikota spaceport, about 80 km north of