Indian space agency succeeds in launching 2nd moon mission

India on Monday succeeded in its ambitious second mission to the moon as it launched vehicle GSLV MK-III successfully off its Space Centre in Sriharikota carrying (Chandrayaan 2); injected into Earth orbit at 2.43 PM local time.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in its official Twitter account: “GSLVMkIIIM1 successfully injects Chandrayaan2 spacecraft into Earth Orbit.” The launch took place from the second launch-pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota located in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Soon after the launch ISRO Chairman K Sivan told media: “It is the beginning of a historic journey of India towards the moon and to land at a place near the South Pole to carry out scientific experiments.” The Indian space mission had started 20-hour countdown yesterday after aborting a previous launch attempt of (Chandrayaan 2) last week following a technical glitch on the launch vehicle. The mission consists of three spacecraft elements, including a lander a rover and an improved version of the Chandrayaan 1 orbiter.

With the successful completion of the current moon mission, India is poised to join a club of elite players including the US, former Soviet Union and China to explore moon with ease. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO describing the event as “special moments that will be etched in the annals of our glorious history. The launch of Chandrayaan 2 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.

“The mission 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.” India had launched its first moon mission Chandrayaan 1 in October 2008 but ISRO ended its operations after 10 months after developing technical problems. It was expected to be operational for two years.