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Two days after the anniversary of NASA's Lunar Landing Mission on July 20, India's second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, was scheduled to lift off aboard a GSLV Mark-III rocket (ISRO's most powerful launcher) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh at 14.43 (IST). 11 years after Chandrayaan-1, Chandrayaan-2 is a 978 crores mission, which was rescheduled after scientists corrected the glitch in the rocket.
Although there was a minor technical glitch in the intial stages, the ISRO team quickly resolved it, making sure the take off is indeed done on July 22. "After a technical snag, we bounced back with flying colours.", said ISRO chief Dr K Sivan.
The successful take-off, if continued in the landing, will make India the fourth country to make a soft landing on the Moon and ISRO, the fourth agency. And to note, it is the first time that a mission is being attempted close to the South Pole of the Moon.
Nicknamed Bahubali, one of the uniqueness of the ISRO project is that it is the first of its kind to have two women leading a project, and about 30 per cent of the members working on the Chandrayaan-2 mission are women. Muthayya Vanitha, the first woman project director of ISRO is an electronics system engineer and Ritu Karidhal, the mission director of Chandrayaan-2 is fondly known as the 'Rocket Woman of India' - need I say more!
Civil Aviation Minister of India, Hardeep SIngh Puri tweeted praising the women of ISRO.
If Lunar landing of Apollo 11 was hailed as 'Giant leap for mankind' the launch of #Chandrayaan2 will be remembered as a 'Giant leap for womankind.'— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) July 22, 2019
Congratulations to the @isro team led by space scientists M.Vanitha & Ritu Karidhal for India's leap to the lunar south pole. pic.twitter.com/EtFh8baM0G
ISRO had postponed the launch of Chandrayaan-2, roughly an hour before blast-off on July 15, after scientists detected a glitch in the launch vehicle.
ISRO tweeted prior to the take-off, indicating the distance from the Earth to the Moon.
#ISRO #Chandrayaan2— ISRO (@isro) July 22, 2019
As our journey begins, do you know what is the distance of Moon from Earth? The average distance is 3, 84, 000 km, Vikram lander will land on Moon on the 48th day of the mission, which begins today.
Here's different view of #GSLVMkIII-M1 pic.twitter.com/4LFEmT2xxZ
At 14:44 (IST), Chandrayaan-2 successfully lifted-off, making the beginning of the journey to the moon a success.
GSLVMkIII-M1 lifts-off from Sriharikota carrying Chandrayaan2!
The President Of India, Ram Nath Kovind, also congratulated the ISRO team.
The historic launch of #Chandrayaan2 from Sriharikota is a proud moment for all Indians. Congratulations to our scientists and engineers for furthering India's indigenous space programme. May @ISRO continue to master new technologies, and continue to conquer new frontiers— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) July 22, 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a string of tweets, spoke highly of the launch of India's second moon mission Chandrayaan-2.
Efforts such as #Chandrayaan2 will further encourage our bright youngsters towards science, top quality research and innovation.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 22, 2019
Thanks to Chandrayaan, India’s Lunar Programme will get a substantial boost. Our existing knowledge of the Moon will be significantly enhanced.
The PM also signified on one more uniqueness of the mission by stating that it is one of firsts to explore and study the south pole region of the lunar terrain.
What a proud moment for ISRO, what a proud moment for India!