ISRO works on raising orbit of Chandrayaan-1

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Bangalore, Oct 23(UNI) ISRO today began the first orbit raising operations of Chandrayaan-1, the country's maiden lunar orbiter, launched by the PSLV-C11 from Sriharikota yesterday.

ISRO Director K Satish told UNI that the spacecraft was in perfectly normal health and the orbit-transfer strategy was working smoothly.

Following the perfect launch, the spacecraft was put in the elliptical orbit with a perigee (nearest point to earth) of 255 km and apogee (farthest point) of 22,860 km yesterday.

Today, the scientists began working on sending the 1,380 kg spacecraft to its next destination -- highly elliptical orbit of 300 km perigee and 1.6 lakh km apogee respectively.

This will be followed by three more orbit-transfer exercises. In the third, the scientists would remotely fire the onboard Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) on the spacecraft to take it to the intermediate transfer orbit with a perigee of 300 km and apogee of 2.6 lakh km, and in the fourth stage of extremely high elliptical orbit with an perigee of 300 km and apogee of 3.87 lakh km.

In the fifth round manoeuvre, the spacecraft would be moved to an apogee of 2,000 km Perigee and 3.84 lakh km apogee before it is transferred to the moon orbit in three stages.

''The spacecraft is keeping good health and now scientists at ISRO's Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Peenya in the city have begun the orbit raising exercise,'' the ISRO official said.

Chandrayaan, carrying 11 payloads, including six from foreign countries, is likely to reach the moon's orbit on or after November eight.

UNI RS MSP AKJ SB KP1507

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