Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft's orbit raised

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Bangalore, Oct 23 (UNI) The first manoeuvre to raise the orbit of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, the country's maiden lunar orbiter, was performed this morning by space scientists at Space Control Centre (SSC) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), located at Peenya in the city.

All systems onboard the spacecraft were functioning normally, ISRO said.

The spacecraft's 440 Newton Liquid Engine was fired for about 18 minutes from ISTRAC to raise the apogee (farthest point to earth) to 37,900, while its perigee (nearest point to earth) had been raised to 305 km.

In this orbit, Chandrayaan-1 takes about 11 hours to go around the earth each time, an ISRO release said here today.

Chandrayaan-1 was successfully launched on a PSLV-C11 launch vehicle from ISRO's spaceport Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km from Chennai.

The launch vehicle placed the spacecraft in an ecliptical orbit with a perigee of 255 km and apogee of 22,860 km. In its initial orbit, the spacecraft orbited earth once in about six and half hours.

Following its successful launch, the SSC acquired the first signals and conducted preliminary operations on Chandrayaan-1.

The Deep Space Network (DSN) at Bylalu, about 35 km from the city, tracked the spacecraft in this orbit and received signals in S and X band and sent commands to the spacecraft, the release said.

Further orbit raising manoeuvers would be carried out in the next few days.

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