The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is parked around the Moon

June 23, 2009 11:19 by scibuff

Update 3: At 10:27 UTC Engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt confirmed the spacecraft’s lunar orbit insertion.
Update 2: The LOI burn finished at 10:26:28 UTC.  Four-and-a-half days after leaving Earth NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has reached its capture orbit around the Moon.

Update 1: At 10:08 UTC “Stable capture around the Moon” has been declared on a voice loop from LRO mission control.

Today at 09:47 UTC the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) control engineers executed the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) engine burn lasting about 40 minutes which adjusted the spacecraft’s trajectory to be captured by the lunar gravity and enter a 200 by 3,000 km orbit around the Moon. In the next few days the mission controllers will execute a series of short orbit adjustment burns that will help the spacecraft to reach the planned 30×216 km commissioning orbit.

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LRO orbit animation – Source: NASA