Isro successfully places second lunar mission on Earth orbit
22 July 2019
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) today successfully launched the country’s second Moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, at 2.43 pm, a week after the lift-off was aborted at the eleventh hour due to a technical snag.
The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), measuring 44 metres in height and weighing 640 tonnes, nicknamed ‘Bahubali’, carrying the Chandrayaan-2 mission lifted off at 2:43 pm as scheduled.
About 16 minutes after Chandrayaan-2’s lift-off, the lander, GSLV MkIII, was injected into 170 x 40400 km Earth orbit.
“Bahubali’ successfully injects Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into Earth Orbit
GSLV MkIII-M1, Bahubali, successfully injected Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into Earth Orbit,” tweeted Isro.
K Sivan, chairman of Isro said that he is “extremely happy” over the successful launch of Chandrayaan-2.
“It is the beginning of a historic journey of India towards Moon and to land at a place near South Pole to carry out scientific experiments,” said the Isro chief.
“After a technical snag, we bounced back with flying colours, said K Sivan, saluting the team “who made the mission possible.”
A technical snag led to an aborted lift-off of Chandrayaan-2, 56 minutes before the end of the countdown on July 15, said space agency Isro.
Congratulating the team who made the mission possible, Isro chief Dr K Sivan said, “After a technical snag, we bounced back with flying colours.”
Scientists will carry out a series of manoeuvres through different phases of the mission to the Moon.
“Chandrayaan2 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,” tweeted Prime Minister Modi.
The lunar landing mission was rescheduled for 22 July after scientists corrected the glitch in the rocket.
Praising the Isro team, the prime minister said, “Chandrayaan2 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.”
Chandrayaan-2 mission also has the unique distinction of being led by two women. The director responsible for the entire project, from start to finish, is Muthayya Vanitha, while Ritu Karidhal is the mission director who will coordinate Chandrayaan-2 when the satellite is injected into orbit.
Chandrayaan-2 lander – Vikram - will attempt a soft landing near the south pole between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, and study the shadowy regions within. The spot holds significance because the first Chandrayaan mission, in 2008, dropped an impactor near the Sackleton Crate on the south pole and found conclusive proof of water in the lunar soil, rocks and atmosphere.
Prime Minister Modi said, “Every Indian is immensely proud today,” adding “the launch of Chandrayaan-2 illustrates the prowess of our scientists and the determination of 130 crore Indians to scale new frontiers of science.”
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated Isro team for successful Chandrayaan-2 launch. “Congratulations on #Chandrayaan2. Compliments to the entire team @isro,” tweeted Sitharaman.
‘Fingers crossed for pathbreaking mission to Moon’: Amarinder Singh
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh wished space agency Isro luck for Chandrayaan-2, which “is all set to explore the unchartered lunar south pole”.
‘Every Indian is proud of you’: Gadkari congratulated team Isro
Union minister Nitin Gadkari the Isro team for successful launch of Chandrayaan-2 and said, “Every Indian is proud of you’.
Union minister Piyush Goyal congratulates team for making the moon mission launch a reality. “Many congratulations to Isro and its women led team that made the ambitious moon mission #Chandrayaan2 launch a reality,” tweeted Goyal.
The Chandrayaan 2 mission is the first operational flight of the GSLV Mark III launch vehicle, which uses oxygen liquified at (-)183 degrees Celsius and Hydrogen at (-) 253 degrees Celsius in the cryogenic upper stage. The first stage of GSLV Mark III uses two solid fuel rocket boosters for lift-off and the second core stage uses two liquid fuel engines.
Landing of Chandrayaan-2 is being called as Isro’s biggest challenge till now. The 15 minutes when the lander separates and before it soft lands on the moon have been called “terrifying moments” by the space agency which has never undertaken such a flight.
Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to soft-land Vikram and Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70° south, ISRO has said.
To demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the surface of the moon and to operate a rover on the surface is one of the key objectives of the mission. Here’s a look at the key objectives of Chandrayaan-2:
- To identify or to find out the minerals and indicators of hydroxyl and water molecules.
- To study the surface of the moon.
- To study the density of the electrons in the Moon’s ionosphere that is the uppermost part of the atmosphere that is ionised by radiation.
- The Orbiter will observe the lunar surface and relay communication between Earth and Chandrayaan 2’s Lander
- The lander is designed to execute India’s first soft landing on the lunar surface.
India’s lunar landing mission “Chandrayaan-2 will perform 15 crucial manoeuvres in the days to come, said Isro chief K Sivan on Sunday, adding “all the preparatory works regarding the launch have been completed and technical snags that developed in the first attempt have been rectified. “
“Moon provides the best linkage to Earth’s early history. It offers an undisturbed historical record of the inner Solar system environment. Extensive mapping of lunar surface to study variations in lunar surface composition is essential to trace back the origin and evolution of the Moon, says the ISRO website.