India successfully launched its second Moon landing mission Chandrayaan-2 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh today at 2.43 pm (IST). This mission was postponed an hour before the lift-off last week due to a snag that was detected in the cryogenic stage of the rocket.
The Indian lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 is a unique achievement by the Indian scientists and technocrats. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is ready to reach Moon’s south polar region, where no country has ever gone before. Fortunately, Chandrayaan-2 live streaming will be available by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Facebook, Twitter, DD National or Doordarshan channel, YouTube, and at the official ISRO website. Before the launch of this lunar mission, a 20-hour countdown started at 6:43 pm on Sunday.
ISRO chairman Dr. K Sivan said on Sunday that Chandrayaan-1 had revealed the presence of water molecules on the Moon and that there were possibilities of the latest mission returning successful scientific experiments.
He further added, “It is because of these reasons that Chandrayaan-2 has attracted attention not only from Indian scientists but also global scientists.”
Before the launch, Indian space scientists and engineers passed through some anxious hours. The last moment drill was going on. But they had only one aim in their mind, which was to launch this mission successfully.
The Chandrayaan-2 has been launched on board the GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota. As per an ISRO note, Chandrayaan-2 will try to soft land the lander-Vikram and rover-Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70 degrees south.
Chandrayaan-1 which was successfully launched by India on October 22, 2008, found the evidence of water molecules. The function of the orbiter is to map the lunar surface and help to make 3D charts of it. The onboard radar is also going to map the surface along with studying the water -ice in the south polar region. One of the missions of Chandrayaan-2 is to focus on finding out the possibility of water on the moon.
A huge money is being spent on Chandrayaan-2, which is approximately a Rs 978 crore mission. Nevertheless, it’s still less than the budget of recent Hollywood blockbuster Avengers, and Indian scientists and engineers have done a commendable job. They never let the mission down at any moment, although this mission saw lots of glitches, such as postponement in January 2013 and then rescheduling for 2016. The reason was that Russia did not develop the lander on time. In 2015, when Russia failed to provide the lander for the forthcoming launch once again, India decided to go it alone and develop the lunar mission independently.
Mars was another milestone
ISRO had made the nation proud earlier too when it made India the first nation to successfully reach on Mars (Red Planet) on its first attempt from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. This mission is better known as Mangalyaan, which was launched on November 5, 2013 by PSLV-C25, and got inserted into Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 in its first attempt. The aim of the Mars mission was to examine the solar wind and radiation effects and explore facts about Mars’s moons, Phobos and Demos.
The most laudable aspect was that our scientists completed this mission without spending huge money. It was the cheapest interplanetary launch. This remarkable mega project Mangalyaan mission cost just Rs 450 crores. With this successful mission, India was proud to join the league of the US, Russia and the European Space Agency, which had sent their spacecraft to Mars.
Marks the anniversary of first lunar landing
The launch of Chandrayaan-2 in July 2019 is significant in more ways than one. It was 50 years ago, on July 20, 1969, that Neil Armstrong became the first man to land on the Moon. He and astronaut Buzz Aldrin walked around for three hours on the moon. Moreover, Apollo 11 registered its name in the record books because it was the first spacecraft that landed humans on the moon. Armstrong’s first step on the moon was broadcast live at that time. He described the event as “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.
In that sense, Chandrayaan-2 is a tribute to mankind, and India’s indomitable spirit, to peacefully explore space, experiment on planetary objects, and find solutions to some of Earth’s problems.