In a shining moment that brought cheer to millions of Indians, India launched its second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 from its most powerful rocket with the rover expected to land on September 7 in the unexplored lunar south pole.
Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) erupted in spontaneous cheers as Chandrayaan-2 lifted off successfully at 2.43 p.m. from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, on July 22, placing a satellite at an orbit 6,000 km more than what was intended.
“We bounced back in flying colours after the earlier technical snag. Success is coming after a call-off,” said a hugely relieved ISRO Chairman K. Sivan at the mission control room of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, located about 100 km from Chennai.
“The GSLV-Mark III vehicle has successfully injected Chandrayaan-2 in the defined orbit. In fact, the orbit is 6,000 km more than what was intended. The satellite will have more life, more fuel and more time to play with the manoeuvres. It is the beginning of a historical journey of India towards the Moon and to land at a place near the South Pole to carry out scientific experiments to explore unexplored [areas],” said Mr Sivan from the Mission Control after the launch.
Modi lauds “Indian at heart” mission
A visibly happy Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the mission as Indian at heart, Indian in spirit,” and tweeted that was quick to tweet that the launch of the Chandrayaan-2 will be “etched in the annals of India’s glorious history.” “The launch of Chandrayaan-2 illustrates the prowess of our scientists and the determination of 130 crore Indians to scale new frontiers of science. Every Indian is immensely proud today,” PM Modi tweeted.
“What would make every Indian overjoyed is the fact that #Chandrayaan2 is a fully indigenous mission. It will have an Orbiter for remote sensing the Moon and also a Lander-Rover module for analysis of lunar surface.”
Efforts such as Chandrayaan-2 will further encourage our bright youngsters towards science, top quality research and innovation,” the prime minister said.
“Thanks to Chandrayaan, India’s lunar programme will get a substantial boost. Our existing knowledge of the moon will be significantly enhanced. Chandrayaan-2 is unique because it will explore and perform studies on the south pole region of lunar terrain which is not explored and sampled by any past mission. This mission will offer new knowledge about the Moon,” he said.
“The launch has bolstered India’s credentials as a responsible space power and pioneer. If the mission is successful, India will become the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to pull off a soft landing on the moon,” said Manish Chand, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, India Writes Network and India and World magazine.
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