November 9, 2008

Chandrayaan-1 Passes Into Lunar Orbit

Animation showing the different orbits of Chandrayaan-1.
Animation: ISRO

November 8, marked a very important date for Chandrayaan-1 as it passed into lunar orbit. India has become the fifth country to send a spacecraft to the Moon.

In the days leading up to this maneuver, the spacecraft had gradually been increasing its apogee (the farthest distance from Earth in orbit). Now, Chandrayaan-1 is slowly decreasing its height of the orbit around the Moon, and will finally achieve a polar orbit of 100 km (62 miles) from the surface of the Moon. As it does this, the scientific equipment aboard the spacecraft will be turned on as the spacecraft conducts its normal duties.

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