TM camera on board Chandrayaan-1 successfully operated

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Bangalore, Oct 31 (UNI) The Terrain Mapping camera (TMC) on board Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, launched from Sriharikota on October 22, has been successfully operated through a series of commands sent by the Spacecraft Control Centre of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) here.

Analysis of the first imagery received by the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu, about 35 km from the city and later processed by Indian Space Science Data Centre (ISSDC) confirmed excellent performance of the camera. The spacecraft'S performance is being continuously monitored and is normal, ISRO said in a release here today.

The first imagery taken at 0800 hrs IST on Wednesday from a height of 9,000 km showed the Northern coast of Australia, while the other (image 2) taken at 1230 hrs from a height of 70,000 km showed Australia's Southern Coast.

TMC is one of the eleven scientific instruments (payloads) of Chandrayaan-1. The camera can take black and white pictures of an object by recording the visible light reflected from it. The instrument has a resolution of about five metres.

Besides TMC, the other four Indian payloads of Chandrayaan-1 were the Hyper spectral Imager (HySI), Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI), High Energy X-ray Spectrometer (HEX) and the Moon Impact Probe (MIP). The other six payloads of Chandrayaan-1 were from abroad.

The PSLV-C11 carrying the 1,380 kg Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was successfully launched into an initial elliptical orbit on October 22. This was followed by four orbit raising manoeuvres, which together raised Chandrayaan-1's orbit to a much higher altitude.

The spacecraft is now circling the Earth in an orbit whose apogee (farthest point to Earth) lies at 267,000 km (Two lakh sixty seven thousand km) and perigee (nearest point to Earth) at 465 km.

In this orbit, Chandrayaan-1 takes about six days to go round the Earth once.

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