Chandrayaan-1 reaches operational orbit

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Bangalore, Nov 12 (UNI) Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, India's first Moon mission today successfully reached its intended operational orbit at a height of about 100 km from the lunar surface.

This followed a series of three orbit reduction manoeuvres conducted during the last three days by repeatedly firing the spacecraft's 440 Newton Liquid Engine, an ISRO press release said here toay As part of these manoeuvres, the engine was fired for a cumulative duration of about 16 minutes. As a result of these manoeuvres, the farthest point of Chandrayaan-1's orbit (aposelene) from the moon's surface was first reduced from 7,502 km to 255 km and finally to 100 km while the nearest point (periselene) was reduced from 200 km to 182 km and finally to 100 km, it said.

The carefully planned complex sequence of operations to carry Chandrayaan-1 from its initial Earth orbit to its intended operational lunar orbit with the use of its liquid engine was successfully completed.

During these operations, Chandrayaan-1's liquid engine built by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Thiruvananthapuram, was fired ten times successfully.

In the present operational orbit, Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft will take about two hours to go round the moon once.

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