With the Chandrayaan 2 launch, India's historic Moon mission has taken off

With the Chandrayaan 2 launch, India's historic Moon mission has taken off

  • Chandrayaan 2, India's second mission to the Moon, just launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in India.
  • The satellite has successfully separated from the launch vehicle is in the geostationary transfer orbit.
  • Chandrayaan 2 is expected to reach the Moon in Septermber after a 48 day journey through space.
India’s satellite to the Moon, Chandrayaan 2, witnessed a successful launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) at Sriharikota today afternoon at 2:34 pm.

“The satellite has successfully separated from the launch vehicle,” K. Sivan, ISRO chairman, told the press after Chandrayaan successfully separated from its launch vehicle, the ‘Bahubali’ GSLV Mark III.

With the Chandrayaan 2 launch, India's historic Moon mission has taken off
A view of the Chandrayaan-2 onboard GSLV-Mk0III-M1 at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. Chandrayaan-2 comes 11 years after ISRO's successful first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 which scripted history by making more than 3,400 orbits around the Moon and was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009.

In fact, the launch went better than expected with GSLV Mark III launching Chandrayaan 2 6000kms further than expected giving the the satellite more fuel and life for its maneuvers later in the journey.

My dear friends, today is a historical day for space, science and technology in India. I’m extremely happy to announce that GSLV Mark III successfully injected Chandrayaan 2 in the defined orbit. Infact, orbit is 6000kms more than what we expected.

K. Sivan at Chandrayaan 2 post launch press conference


India may be the fourth nation after the United States, Russia and China to land on the Moon but it will be the first one to ever land on the natural satellite’s South Pole. This is also India’s 73rd launch mission from SDSC.

Take-off after tweaked countdown

The 24-hour countdown began a little later than scheduled at 6:43 on Sunday evening because ISRO was reportedly superstitious about avoiding Rahu Kalaam.

Chandrayaan 2 received authorisation of the launch from the mission director 18 minutes ahead of the launch following which the vehicle director and cryo chief will authorised the vehicle operations sequence.

During the launch's initial stage, the S200 burners are ignited on ground. Following which the L1 10 rocket was ignited, one of the primary engines of the GSLV Mark III vehicle.

The S200's subsequently separated after which the launch was under close loop guidance which was followed by the vehicle's shedding its heat shields.

The cryogenic stage then ignited and performance was reported as normal at 204 kms around 405 minutes into the launch.

The crygenic stage burnt out after 8 more minutes and the satellite successfully separated from the launch vehicle to enter geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

The Chandrayaan 2 will undergo 15 crucial maneuvers before actually landing on the Moon’s South Pole.

Chandrayaan 2’s journey through space

Chandrayaan 2 is going to attempt a soft landing on the Moon’s South Pole — one of the most cratered lunar surfaces. K. Sivan, the ISRO chairman, has dubbed the 15 minutes of that land to be the ‘most terrifying’ that the team will face during the mission.

See also:
Chandrayaan 2 will give India bragging rights even if it doesn’t find water

ISRO scientists tweak Chandrayaan 2 countdown to avoid the number '13'

ISRO Chief K Sivan says Chandrayaan 2 "bounced back with flying colours" but that task is not over yet