India’s moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifts off successfully

After a week’s delay, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) successfully launched Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here today.

The white coloured rocket with Indian flag painted on it slowly gained speed a few metres after the lift off, and soared into the clear sky. The rocket is set to cover 3.84 lakh km from Earth in last less than 50 days before the lander and rover soft landing on the moon on September 6/7.

The GSLVMKIII-MI has sucessfully injected Cahndrayaan-2 spacecraft into Earth’s orbit. Here is a tweet from ISRO:

ISRO @isro

-M1 successfully injects spacecraft into Earth Orbit Here’s the view of separation

View image on Twitter

The 978 crore first moon landing mission, which aims to place a robotic rover on the moon, is most complex, and India’s most ambitious second lunar mission. For the first time, it will shed light on a completely unexplored section of the Moon- its South Polar region.

The key payload includes Chandrayaan 2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer; elemental composition of the Moon; imaging IR spectrometer; mineralogy mapping and water-ice confirmation; Polar-region mapping and sub-surface water-ice confirmation; orbiter higher resolution camera; high-res topography mapping and ‘in-situ’ elemental analysis and abundance in the vicinity of landing site.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet said, “Indian at heart, Indian in spirit! 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.”

First attempt

Chandrayaan-2 was originally scheduled to be launched for 2:51 am on July 15 but was called off with just 56.24 minutes left for lift off due to a technical snag.

“A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at 1 hour before the launch. As a measure of abundant precaution, #Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today,” said Isro in a tweet on July 15. The details of the technical snag were not shared.

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