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Chandrayaan-1 on final lap to Moon

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Fifth and final orbit-raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft was carried out on Monday. ISRO illustration

BANGALORE (PTI): India's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft is now into its last lap of journey to the lunar orbit as the country's space scientists successfully carried out the fifth and final orbit-raising manoeuvre, taking it to a distance of 3,80,000 km from Earth on Monday.

"Chandrayaan-1 is heading towards Moon. On Saturday, it will be captured in Moon's orbit," Indian Space Research Organisation spokesperson S Satish told PTI.

The orbit-raising operation was successfully carried out at 0456 hrs during which the spacecraft's 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for 145 seconds.

"With this, Chandrayaan-1 entered the lunar transfer trajectory with an apogee (farthest point to earth) of about 380,000 km," the Bangalore-headquartered space agency said in a statement.

It said the health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) here with the support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Byalalu on the city outskirts.

ISRO said since its launch on October 22 by PSLV-C11, all systems onboard Chandrayaan-1 are performing normally.

Chandrayaan-1 would approach the Moon on November eight and the spacecraft's liquid engine would be fired again to insert the spacecraft into lunar orbit, ISRO said.

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