Chandrayaan-2, India’s second lunar exploration mission, launched today and is heading to the moon. The mission was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh on Monday at 2.43 pm.
A Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk-III) ‘Bahubali’ rocket blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The three-stage GSLV Mk-III rocket successfully went through all three stages and successfully injected Chandrayaan-2 into a lower Earth orbit shortly after launch.
It includes a lunar orbiter, lander, and rover, all developed domestically. The main scientific objective is to map the location and abundance of lunar water.
The lander and the rover will arrive in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70° south. The wheeled rover will move on the lunar surface and perform a chemical investigation. It will then hand off information to Earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and lander.
The original launch date was July 15, 2019, but due to a technical snag, the agency called off the launch. The lunar landing mission was rescheduled for July 22 after scientists corrected the glitch in the rocket.
Chandrayaan-2 will study the elements on the moon, map its topography through high-resolution pictures, study its minerals, and, most importantly, confirm sub-surface water/ice presence.
The mission’s success brought huge relief for ISRO scientists.
Congratulating team ISRO, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi tweeted:
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.”