ibnlive » Tech

Oct 25, 2008 at 12:11am IST

Chandrayaan-1 cruising 39,000 km above earth

New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is keeping a close track on Chandrayaan-1.

Three days after launch, Chandrayaan-1 is cruising 39,000 kilometers above the earth. It circles the earth once every 11 hours. The ISRO Mission Control says all systems are perfectly normal.

Within the next few days, Chnadrayaan-1 will be pushed up even further - before finally drifting out towards the moon.

IN CRUISE CONTROL: ISRO Mission Control says all systems are perfectly normal.

India’s first unmanned flight to the moon blasted off from Sriharikota, off the Andhra Pradesh coast, early morning on Wednesday.

A 44-metre-tall and 316-tonne rocket called the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C11) carried the 1,380-kg lunar orbiter from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, , about 80 km north of Chennai, at exactly 0622 hrs IST.

After 18.2 minutes of the lift-off, ISRO's warhorse rocket injected Chandrayaan-I into earth orbit.

The cuboid spacecraft built by ISRO – likely to be injected into Moon’s orbit on November 8 – has launched the country into the elite club that has sent missions to the moon.

Other members of the club are the US, former Soviet Union, European Space Agency, China and Japan. The US returns to lunar exploration aboard Chandrayaan-1, which is also carrying two NASA instruments in its payload.

The first four phases of the launch were 100 per cent perfect, said the scientists, and ground stations across the world - including the master control station in Bangalore - started getting signals from Chandrayaan-1.