Chandrayaan enters deep
space; on way to moon
Oct 26 (IANS) India's first unmanned lunar spacecraft Chandrayaan-1
Sunday entered deep space after crossing 150,000 km from the
earth on way to the moon, a space agency official said.
entered deep space after its third orbit-raising manoeuvre
was completed earlier in the day. The exercise involved firing
its 440 Newton liquid engine, lasting 9.5 minutes," Indian
Space Research Organisation (ISRO) director S. Satish told
IANS in Bangalore.
the exercise, the spacecraft is in a higher elliptical orbit,
cruising at a 164,600-km apogee (farthest point from earth)
and a 348-km perigee (nearest point to earth), taking 73 hours
to go around the earth once.
of the Deep Space Network (DSN) at Byalalu (40 km from Bangalore)
are tracking and communicating with Chandrayaan-1 in such
a high orbit. The spacecraft performance is normal,"
Satish pointed out.
signals from the spacecraft are strong and everything is progressing
as expected," S.K.Shivakumar, director ISRO Telmetry,
Tracking and Command Network, told IANS in Chennai.
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.
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.
orbit-raising manoeuvres are planned in the coming few days
to take Chandrayaan-1 towards the moon, which is about 384,000
km from the earth, by Nov 8.
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
the various centres of the state-run ISRO.
spacecraft is expected to enter the lunar orbit Nov 3, when
the moon will be about 500 km away from it.
was blasted off Oct 22 on board the 316-tonne polar satellite
launch vehicle (PSLV) C-11 fromt he Satish Dhawan space centre
at Sriharikota, about 80 km from Chennai.