Chandrayaan-1 well on course on its lunar mission

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Chennai, Oct 29 (UNI) Chandrayaan-1, India's first unmanned moon exploratory mission, was well on course to reach the desired destination with the performing of the fourth Orbit raising manoeuvre today.

ISRO sources said the spacecraft's orbit was further raised by another one lakh km, when Chandrayaan's onboard 440 Newton Liquid Engine was fired for about three minutes at 0738 hrs this morning.

With this, Chandrayaan-1 entered into a more elliptical orbit whose apogee (farthest point to Earth) lies at 2,67,000 km and the perigee (nearest point to Earth) lies at 465 km.

Thus, Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft's present orbit extends more than half the way to the moon. In this orbit, the spacecraft takes about six days to go round the Earth once.

''We are confident that the spacecraft will reach the Lunar Orbit as scheduled on November 8'', the sources said.

The health of the spacecraft, launched by ISRO's workhorse launch vehicle PSLV-C11 on October 22, was being continuously monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with support from Indian Deep Space Network antennas at Bylalu.

All systems onboard the spacecraft were performing normally, the sources said and added that one more orbit raising manoeuvre was scheduled to send the spacecraft to the vicinity of the moon at a distance of about 384,000 km from the Earth.

UNI GV VV KK CS1520

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