Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft has entered deep space after crossing the 150,000 km (one and a half lakh km) distance mark from the Earth. This happened after the successful completion of the spacecraft’s third orbit raising manoeuvre today (October 26, 2008) morning.
During this manoeuvre which was initiated at 07:08 IST, the spacecraft’s 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for about nine and a half minutes. With this, Chandrayaan-1 entered a much higher elliptical orbit around the Earth. The apogee (farthest point to Earth) of this orbit lies at 164,600 km while the perigee (nearest point to Earth) is at 348 km. In this orbit, Chandrayaan-1 takes about 73 hours to go round the Earth once.
The antennas of the Indian Deep Space Network at Byalalu are playing a crucial role in tracking and communicating with Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in such a high orbit. The spacecraft performance is normal. More orbit raising manoeuvres are planned in the coming few days to take Chandrayaan-1 towards the Moon.
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