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Chandra Moves Out

July 26, 1999 ::

Members of the Chandra management team at the OCC in Cambridge, Ma
The atmosphere was calm anticipation in the Chandra Observatory Action Room Sunday night and that's exactly the way Chandra's managers and scientists liked it. The Integral Propulsion System rocket engines on board Chandra fired for the second time at 9:47 p.m. EDT for 11 minutes and 13 seconds, while Chandra was high above the Earth over the Atlantic Ocean.

"Six minutes, guys," Jean Oliver of Marshall Space Flight Center said as he counted off the minutes of the burn from the program manager's seat. "Doesn't seem like a minute could be this long."

Finally, Oliver announced that the burn was over, and that "Everything went down normal."

Chandra will travel more than a third of the way to the moon, before turning back toward Earth.
The latest rocket firing increased Chandra's speed by about 260 miles per hour, and took the spacecraft to an orbit that is 2,148 miles (3,425 km) above Earth at closest approach (perigee), while leaving it at approximately 45,000 miles (72,000 km) from Earth at its most distant point (apogee).

The next rocket firing is scheduled for next Saturday night around 6:30 p.m. EDT. It will be the longest burn, and will occur near perigee. After this burn, Chandra will travel more than a third of the way to the moon, before turning back toward Earth.

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