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Chandrayaan-2 injected into Earth orbit

TE Raja Simhan Sriharikota(AP) | Updated on July 22, 2019 Published on July 22, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s JFK-style speech kickstarted the $1.4 billion Gaganyaan mission   -  PTI

The GSLV Mark III carrying Chandrayaan-2 lifts off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on Monday   -  S_R_Raghunathan

With no glitch, GSLV-Mk III lifts off successfully

It was a historical day for India’s space establishment with the second lunar mission blasting off to explore the unexplored — the south pole of the Moon. Only the US, Russia and China have managed the soft landing of a spacecraft on the Moon’s dark region.

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) (nicknamed Bahubali) successfully launched Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre-SHAR, Sriharikota at 2.43 pm on Monday.

Here is a glimpse of the launch:

 

The ₹978-crore mission, which aims to place a robotic rover on the moon, is India’s most complex and most ambitious. For the first time, it will shed light on a completely unexplored region of the Moon — its Southern Polar region. The 3.84-lakh-km journey will take about 50 days before the lander and rover soft land on the Moon’s surface in early September.

Palpable tension

With ten seconds to go, the tension at the mission control facility was palpable, especially after the earlier attempt, on July 15, was aborted due to a technical glitch. As the computers took over the launch sequence and the motors ignited, India’s largest launch vehicle lifted off with a thunderous roar. The vibration could be felt even 5 km away. As the sky was overcast, the launch vehicle with the signature orange plume quickly disappeared into the clouds.

At 16.23 minutes after lift off, the GSLV -Mk III rocket successfully injected Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into the Earth orbit at a point 6,000 km higher than originally envisaged thus making it easier for it to be pushed towards the Moon.

Isro tweets:

The 44-m tall, 640-tonne GSLV-Mk III rocket carried in its nose the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, which consists of three segments — the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg with eight instruments), the Lander Vikram (1,471 kg with four instruments) and the Rover Pragyan (27 kg with two instruments). The GSLV-Mk III is a three-stage launch vehicle. The first stage consists of the two strap-on motors, which stand on either side of the middle second stage (core). The strap-on motors are powered by solid fuel. The second stage by a liquid fuel and the third stage is a cryogenic engine.

Historic day: ISRO chief

ISRO chairman K Sivan speaking to scientists at the mission control room after the Chandrayaan 2 launch (TV visual).

K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO, talking to scientists from the mission control room soon after the launch, said: “Today is a historic day for science and technology in India. I am extremely happy to announce that GSLV-MK III successfully injected Chandrayaan-2 in the defined orbit. The world has been waiting for this mission.”

He said that team ISRO bounced back with flying colours after the earlier attempt was aborted due to a technical snag. The team identified the cause of the failure in 24 hours, fixed it in one-and-half days and tested it to ensure a perfect launch, he added.

Indian at heart, in spirit : PM

Reacting to the launch, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Indian at heart, Indian in spirit! What would make every Indian overjoyed is the fact that #Chandrayaan2 is a fully indigenous mission. The launch of #Chandrayaan2 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.”

Published on July 22, 2019
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