India Successfully Launches Chandrayaan-2, Aims to Become First to Probe Lunar South Pole
India on Monday successfully launched its second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 from its most powerful rocket with a plan to land the rover on September 7 in the unexplored lunar South Pole.
“Congrats to Isro on the launch of Chandrayaan 2, a mission to study the Moon. We’re proud to support your mission comms using our Deep Space Network and look forward to what you learn about the lunar South Pole where we will send astronauts on our #Artemis mission in a few years,” Nasa (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) tweeted congratulating its Indian counterpart ISRO.
The low-cost space programme was undertaken by the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO). Ifsuccessful, the launch will make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to pull off a soft landing on the moon.
“The historic launch of #Chandrayaan2 from Sriharikota is a proud moment for all Indians. Congratulations to our scientists and engineers for furthering India’s indigenous space programme. May @ISRO continue to master new technologies, and continue to conquer new frontiers,” congratulated the Indian President.
“#Chandrayaan2 will be the first spacecraft to land close to the moon’s South Pole in some 50 days from now. The mission is expected to lead to new discoveries and enrich our knowledge systems. I wish the Chandrayaan-2 team every success,” President Kovind added.
The Rs 978-crore unmanned mission also brought woman power to the fore as it was helmed by two women scientists of the ISRO–Ritu Karidhal and M Vanitha, the Mission and Project directors respectively.
“Special moments that will be etched in the annals of our glorious history! 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!” tweeted the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The prime minister also shared pictures of him watching the launch on a large screen and shared his audio message to the ISRO.
“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,” Modi said.
Chandrayaan-2 comes 11 years after ISRO’s successful first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 which scripted history by making more than 3,400 orbits around the Moon and was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009.
The 43.43-metre tall three-stage rocket GSLV-MkIII-M1 dubbed as Baahubali for its ability to carry heavy payloads, successfully placed the Chandrayaan-2 in the Earth orbit, ISRO said.
The ISRO is aiming for a soft landing of the lander in the South Pole region of the moon where no country has gone so far.