India Launches Moon Mission

"Indian at heart, Indian in spirit!"

A round of applause was heard at the mission control room shortly after the launch, with scientists and engineers watching the rocket take off towards orbit.

"Godrej's contribution to the mission includes critical equipment such as L110 engine and CE20 engine for the launcher GSLV Mk III, thrusters for the orbiter and lander, and components for the DSN antenna", Godrej Aerospace Executive Vice President and Business Head SM Vaidya said in a statement. The rover, called Pragyan, will examine the lunar surface, search for water, and probe craters and traps that could untangle key questions about the history of the solar system. "The launch of #Chandrayaan2 illustrates the prowess of our scientists and the determination of (1.3 billion) Indians to scale new frontiers of science", he said.

Actor Yami Gautam tweeted it is a proud moment for every India.

At a modest price tag of $141 million, Chandrayaan-2 is made up of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, that was launched by the country's most powerful rocket, known as Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III. "The ISRO team deserves special compliments for this".

Indigenous ingenuity has been the hallmark of India's space programme.

Another interplanetary mission to Venus will be launched in the next 2-3 years, Sivan, who is also the secretary, Department of Space, had said.

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Indian scientists offered ritual prayers at temples near the base, according to media reports, and said they were confident there would be no repeat of the problem that led to countdown being halted 56 minutes before last week's launch. "The work done in the next 24 hours to bring the vehicle back to normal was mind-boggling". "It is the beginning of a historical journey for India". As Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "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".

The almost 150 million USA dollars worth of moon mission aims at gathering data on water, minerals and rock formations on the lunar surface.

"After that, the D-Day will come and on that day we are going to experience 15 minutes of terror, to ensure the landing is safe near the south pole", he added. The most hard part of the mission will then begin as Vikram will first search for an appropriate landing site on the South Pole of the Moon, where no country has attempted landing before.

The Chandrayaan-2 space mission consists of an orbiter, a landing module and a small rover.

QUEST FOR WATER: After being the first to gather evidence of water on the surface of the Moon, with its maiden Moon mission in October 2008, Indian scientists plan to take those experiments further by mapping the extent and distribution of water on the Moon.

The success of Chandrayaan 2 mission makes India the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to pull off a soft landing on the Moon.

Aditya-L1 is meant to observe the Sun's corona, the outer layers of the star that span thousands of kilometres.

  • Sonia Alvarado