Chandrayaan-2 enters Earth orbit, lunar landing on Sept 7
India's second lunar mission successfully lifts-off at 2.43 pm from Satish Dhawan Space Centre
Sriharikota: Aiming to take a "billion dreams to the moon", India on Monday successfully launched its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 on-board its rocket GSLV-MkIII-M1 from the spaceport here to explore the uncharted south pole of the celestial body by landing a rover. The launch vehicle lifted-off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here into cloudy skies at 2.43 pm and successfully placed the 3,850-kg Chandrayaan-2 into the Earth orbit 16.42 minutes later.
Immediately after Chandrayaan-2's separation from the rocket, its solar array automatically got deployed and the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru successfully took control of the spacecraft, Indian Space Research Organisation said in a statement later.
Chandrayaan-2, a spacecraft comprising orbiter, lander and rover, will be subjected to a series of orbit manoeuvres using its onboard propulsion system to take it to the vicinity of Moon over the next weeks with the rover soft landing planned on September 7.
The success of the mission, helmed by two women Ritu Karidhal (Mission Director) and M Vanitha (Project Director), brought huge relief for ISRO scientists after the July 15 launch was called off following a technical glitch in the rocket.
A visibly relieved Sivan, who announced the success of the mission, said, "It is the beginning of a historical journey of India towards the moon... We bounced back in flying colours after the earlier technical snag".
BJP, Cong clash over credit
The Congress' attempt on Monday to claim credit for the successful launch of Chandrayaan-2 by highlighting the role of former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru, triggered a row with the BJP accusing it of politicising the event. "This is really demeaning," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said in a tweet.
ISRO plans mission for Sun next year
ISRO has planned launch of its solar mission, Aditya-L1, in the first half of 2020 to study the Sun's corona, according to the space agency. Aditya-L1 is meant to observe the corona, which are the outer layers of the Sun, extending to thousands of km. "How the corona gets heated to such high temperatures is still an unanswered question in solar physics," ISRO said.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauds ISRO for Chandrayaan 2