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India’s first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1(meaning ‘moon craft’ in sanskrit) has passed the tricky man oeuvre of entering the lunar orbit at 5:15 PM Indian standard time. This was an important milestone for the Indian mission to moon which was launched on October 22 from Indian spaceport Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota.

The lunar orbit insertion (LOI) began at 4:50 P.M and lasted for 817 seconds (14 minutes). The ground control station at Peenya in Bangalore fired the satellite’s rockets to move it into position. This was considered to be a most critical moment of the entire mission. The satellite has now been placed in a 7,502 km X 500 km elliptical orbit around the moon. Chandrayaan will be lowered to a circular orbit at a distance of 100 km from lunar surface gradually. It will then land the lunar probe on the moon’s surface and plant the flag of India on the moon. ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said everything onboard Chandrayaan-1 is working fine.

With this, India becomes the fifth country to send a spacecraft to Moon. The other countries, which have sent spacecraft to Moon, are the United States, former Soviet Union, Japan and China. Besides, the European Space Agency (ESA), a consortium of 17 countries, has also sent a spacecraft to moon.