India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifts off onboard GSLV Mk III-M1 (Photo Source: PTI)
"We bounced back with flying colours... success is coming after a hallow," a beaming Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman said after the successful launch of Moon mission Chandrayaan-2, which was hit by a technical snag last week. Addressing the gathering at the mission control centre after the GLSV-MKIII-M1 injected the three-module spacecraft in a precise launch from this sport, K Sivan also said not only ISRO and India but the entire world was waiting for the launch.
"We bounced back in flying colours after the earlier technical snag. Success is coming after a hollow," he said crediting the entire Team ISRO for the success.
"Immediately after the technical snag was observed in an intelligent way one week back, the entire team swung into action. The work done in the next 24 hours to bring the vehicle back to normal was mind-boggling," he said.
The Rs 978 crore mission was called off on July 15 barely an hour before the lift-off after the scientists noticed a glitch in the three-stage rocket during the propellant filling phase. However, after quick remedial action it was rescheduled for Monday and launched successfully.
"I am extremely happy to announce that GSLV Mark III successfully injected Chandrayaan 2 in the defined orbit, infact the orbit is 6,000 km more than what was intended," Sivan said.
The ISRO chief said the success of the mission marked the beginning of historical journey of India towards moon to land at a place near South Pole to carry out scientific experiments. "Not only ISRO and India, but the entire globe was waiting for this mission’s success, which we achieved now," he said.
The geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle lifted-off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here into cloudy skies at 2.43 pm Monday and successfully placed the 3,850-kg Chandrayaan-2 into the earth orbit about 16 minutes later, completing the first phase of the mission.
Noting that mission was yet to be completed, Sivan said that Chandrayaan-2 team was tasked with 15 "very crucial" manoeuvres in the next one-and-half months before the rover is landed on the lunar surface. "After the D Day comes, we are going to experience 15 minutes of terror to ensure the landing is safely done near the Moon’s south pole," he said.
Sivan was referring to the most complex phase of the mission when the scientists will carry out the soft landing of the rover on the Moon’s surface, expected around September 6-8.
Crediting the Chandrayaan-2 team for "burning midnight oil" in the last one-and-a half years, he said it was his duty to "salute" all of them who have worked for the mission's success. Sivan expressed hope the space agency would work together, as always, for the missions in the pipeline, including Cartosat 3.