India's moon craft reaches final lunar orbit

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Friday, November 14, 2008

India's first lunar mission, the Chandrayaan-1 (meaning 'moon craft' in Sanskrit), reached its destined lunar orbit on Wednesday. The satellite's on-board engine was fired for 58 seconds.

It is now in a circular orbit 102 kilometres from the Moon. It will stay in this orbit for two years and conduct various experiments to gain a better understanding of the Moon.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officials, the Moon Impact Probe (MIP), with an Indian flag painted on it, will be dropped late tonight. The MIP has a mass of 29 kg and it will take 20 minutes to reach the moon's surface. On-board cameras will film the surface during descent.


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