Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: The second firing of the liquid apogee motor on board Chandrayaan-1, which would have raised the orbit of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, did not take place as scheduled on Friday.

The first firing of this propulsion system took place on October 23 and this raised the spacecraft to an apogee of 37,900 km and a perigee of 305 km from its initial orbit of 22,866 km by 256 km. The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C11) put Chandrayaan-1, India’s first spacecraft to the moon, in its initial orbit on October 22.

Asked why the second firing did not take place on Friday, ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair said the second firing was to take place either on the first day or the second day after the first firing. “We have exercised the option of firing it on the second day. So we will fire the LAM on Saturday. We are meanwhile calibrating the instruments.” Asked whether anything was amiss, Mr. Nair replied, “Nothing. Everything is going on as planned.”