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Emily LakdawallaOctober 21, 2008

Chandrayaan-1 launch was nominal

A very helpful person who's sitting in India and clearly has a better feed from the webcast than I do has reported that all went well with Chandrayaan-1's launch, and that it'll be "5.5 days" to reach the Moon. (I had previously heard eight.) I now know that 5.5 days is how long it will take Chandrayaan-1 to reach the Moon once it reaches its lunar transfer orbit. But it has many days yet before it raises its apogee from its current height of 23,000 kilometers to the transfer orbit height of 387,000 kilometers. I don't yet know how long the entire timeline will take to unfold. Here's a page describing the way they transfer to lunar orbit, but it doesn't have a timeline. According to "Bhas from India," posting on unmannedspaceflight.com, this should all happen pretty quickly, by November 8.

Hopefully in a couple of hours the Indian media will be full of more details, and maybe even a photo or two of the launch!

In the meantime, AFP has reported that the official time of launch was 00:52 UTC.

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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Emily Lakdwalla
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