First Lunar Orbit Reduction
Manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 Successfully Carried Out
The first orbit reduction manoeuvre of
Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft which is orbiting the moon, was successfully performed
yesterday (November 9, 2008)
night. As part of that manoeuvre which began at 20:03 IST, the 440 Newton
liquid engine of the spacecraft was fired for about 57 seconds. With this, the
nearest point of Chandrayaan-1s orbit (periselene) from the moons surface was
reduced from 504 km to 200 km while the farthest point (aposelene) remained
unchanged at 7,502 km. In this elliptical orbit, Chandrayaan-1 takes about ten
and a half hours to circle the moon once.
It may be recalled that the lunar orbit insertion manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1
was successfully performed on November 8, 2008 and the spacecraft entered into
an orbit around the moon with a periselene of 504 km and an aposelene of 7,502
The health as well as the orbit of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft is being closely
monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and
Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with crucial support from Indian Deep
Space Network antennas at Byalalu. The spacecraft performance is normal.
Further orbit reduction manoeuvres are scheduled
in the coming days to take Chandrayaan-1 to its final operational orbit of 100
km height from the lunar surface. After this, the Moon Impact Probe, one of the
eleven scientific instruments (payloads) of Chandrayaan-1, will be released to
hit the moons surface.