ISRO, Indian Space Research Organisation launched Chandrayaan-2, its second moon mission, from Sriharikota on Monday. This launch came after a week when the lift was aborted due to a technical snag.Chandrayaan-2 launched ISRO’s 640-tonne rocket, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III, most powerful launcher from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
Lakhs of people watched the launch as the heavy-lift rocket boomed in the skies. The launcher, Bahubali, Chandrayaan-2 measured 44 metres in height. There was a 20-hour countdown to the lift that has become a complex mission.
India postponed its second lunar mission for the fifth time, an hour before blast after scientists observed a problem in the launch vehicle. Then the lunar landing mission was rescheduled for July 22. The 3,850kg Chandrayaan-2 comprises of an orbiter that circle the moon for a year, will take images and test the atmosphere. This is a Rs 375 crore GSLV-Mk III carrying the lander, orbiter and rover will launch the Rs 603 crore Chandrayaan-2 in the Earth parking orbit. From the launch to soft landing, the entire mission takes about 58 days.
The landing of Chandrayaan-2 is ISRO’s biggest challenge, minutes when the lander separates and before it lands on the moon. The first landing images are available within 15 minutes of lander touching down. This mission carried 13 Indian scientific instruments for research. Imaging of rock is done to find elements such as calcium, magnesium, iron and signs of water. This mission will study the exosphere of the moon.
ISRO is following the similar launch strategy as was followed at the time of Chandrayaan-1. However, Chandrayaan 1 was an orbiter while Chandrayaan-2 has rover and lander components adding complexity to the mission. During countdown, the spacecraft’s systems and rocket will again undergo checks and fuel will be filled to control the rocket engines.
It is a huge leap in India’s space program and the success will solidify its place in the world’s spacefaring nations with Chandrayaan-2.