Bad Astronomy

It’s a new day… for Chandrayaan-1

The Indian Space Research Organization reports that their Chandrayaan-1 Moon probe has entered what’s called a Lunar Transfer Orbit (or LTO), a path that will take it to the Moon.

It has been orbiting the Earth since its launch on October 22. Technically, it still is orbiting the Earth, but this new LTO is a highly elliptical path that takes the probe very close to the Moon. On November 8, Chardrayaan-1 will fire its thrusters again, and that will slow it enough to achieve lunar orbit. From there, it will settle down into a much lower, more circular orbit, and then the fun begins as it maps our nearest neighbor in space. I’m really looking forward to the images and science it will return!