Science News, Nation, (Sriharikota), July 22:-India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 seeking to explore the unchartered Lunar south pole by landing a rover is liftoff successfully onboard its most powerful rocket GSLV-Mk0III-M1 from Sriharikota, a week after the lift-off was aborted due to a technical snag.
The Rs 978 crore mission, which was rescheduled after scientists corrected the glitch in the rocket, is launched at 2.43pm from the second launchpad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, over 100km from Chennai.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists, who aborted the previous launch with 56 minutes left for the countdown to end on July 15, have taken quick remedial action based on an analysis carried out by a team set up to look into the snag and announced the rescheduled launch three days ago. A 20-hour countdown for the launch began at 6.43pm Sunday, ISRO announced.
The success of Chandrayaan 2 mission makes India the fourth country after the US, Russia and China to pull off a soft landing on the moon. The launch is a huge achievement because the window of opportunity for the launch of India’s first lander mission to the Moon is extremely small — barely a few minutes — and the scientists have very little flexibility in the final minutes before lift-off.
After the launch of Chandrayaan-2, ISRO has confirmed that all parameters are fine and all functions are performing normally. The rocket propelled into space an orbiter, a lander ‘Vikram’ (named after ISRO founder and eminent Indian scientist Vikram Sarabhai) and a moon rover ‘Pragyaan’.
Scientists at the ISRO control room closely watched the rocket as it gained speed and headed towards the outer atmosphere, propelled by the massive thrust from the powerful 640-tonne ‘Baahubali’ rocket.
The GSLV Mark 3 – ISRO’s largest and most powerful rocket – is 44 metres long or as tall as a 15-storey building.
Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari also congrulates ISRO on the successful launch of Chandrayaan-2, week after the lift-off was aborted due to a techinal snag.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)