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Indian spacecraft enters lunar orbit
Posted: Sat, Nov 8, 2008, 2:40 PM ET (1940 GMT)
Chandrayaan 1 illustration (ISRO) India's first lunar mission successfully entered orbit around the Moon on Saturday. Chandrayaan-1 fired its main engine for 817 seconds at 6:21 am EST (1121 GMT, 4:51 pm Indian time) Saturday, moving the spacecraft from a lunar transfer trajectory into an elliptical orbit around the Moon. The spacecraft is currently in an orbit of 504 by 7,502 kilometers, but will eventually maneuver into a 100-kilometer circular orbit. Chandrayaan-1 was launched October 22 into Earth orbit, and gradually raised its apogee until it moved into a transfer trajectory. The spacecraft, India's first mission beyond Earth orbit, carries a suite of instruments from India, Europe, and the United States, as well as an impactor probe that will be fired towards the surface once the spacecraft is in its final orbit.
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