Chandrayaan-2 successfully launched from Sriharikota Space Centre today. India moved towards its second tryst with the moon with ISRO's heavy lift rocket - the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) - blasting off from the Sriharikota spaceport on Monday. Before a week the lift-off was aborted at the last minute due to a technical problem.
At exactly 2.43 pm, the Rs 375 crore GSLV-Mk III rocket, carrying the 3,850 kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, began its ascent into space from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota.The 43.4 metre tall, 640 tonne rocket, nicknamed 'Bahubali' for as the hero in the successful film lifts a heavy lingam, it carries the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-2.
Just over 16 minutes into its flight, the rocket slung the Rs 603 crore Chandrayaan-2 into an Earth parking 170x39,120 km orbit.
From there it will be a long journey for Chandrayaan-2 as the distance between the earth and the moon is about 384,400 km.
Originally the rocket was to fly on July 15 at 2.51 a.m. Due to technical glitch that was detected about an hour prior to the rocket's lift off, the mission was called off that day.
The ISRO then fixed the launch day for July 22 after setting right the technical glitch.
To this end, just as the rocket was launched into space, ISRO chairman and secretary, department of space, Dr K Sivan, said the space agency had bounced back.
"We are extremely happy. We have bounced back after the technical snag. The mission is successful," Sivan said, saluting the team that "made it possible".
The Chandrayaan-2 consists of three segments - the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), the lander 'Vikram' (1,471 kg, four payloads) and rover 'Pragyan' (27 kg, two payloads).
The Indian space agency has named the lander in memory of country's space pioneer Vikram Sarabhai while the rover's name means wisdom in Sanskrit.
According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), on the day of landing - estimated on September 7, the lander Vikram will separate from the Orbiter and then perform a series of complex manoeuvres comprising rough braking and fine braking.