Bangalore: The first orbit reduction manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 has been successfully completed, taking the spacecraft as near as 200 km from the moon, according to space agency ISRO.
As part of the manoeuvre which began at 20:09 IST yesterday, the 440 newton liquid engine of the spacecraft was fired for about 57 seconds, a statement by Indian Space Research Organisation said.
With this, the nearest point of Chandrayaan-1’s orbit (periselene) from the moon’s surface was reduced from 504 km to 200 km while the farthest point (aposelene) remained unchanged at 7,502 km, a release said.
In this orbit, Chandrayaan-1 takes about 10 and half hours to circle the moon once.
The lunar orbit insertion manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 was successfully performed on November 8, and the spacecraft entered the orbit around the moon with a periselene of 504 km and an aposelene of 7,502 kms.
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 the 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 kms height from the lunar surface.
After this, the moon impact probe, one of the eleven scientific instruments (payload) of Chandrayaan-I, will be released to hit the moon’s surface, the release said.