Sriharikota (AP), July 22 : Carrying a billion dreams to the Moon, India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV MkIII-M1, on Monday successfully launched the 3,840 kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into an earth orbit, from where it
would commence is 48-day long, 3,844 lakh km journey for a soft landing on the Lunar's South pole on September seven.
ISRO in a release said the spacecraft was now revolving round the earth with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 169.7 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 45,475 km. Today’s flight marks the first operational flight of GSLV Mk III. After a smooth 20-hour countdown, GSLV MkIII-M1 majestically lifted off from the Second Launch Pad at 1443 hrs and about 16 minutes 14 seconds later, the vehicle injected the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into an elliptical earth orbit. Immediately after spacecraft separation from the vehicle, the solar array of the spacecraft automatically got deployed and the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bengaluru successfully took control of the spacecraft.
Addressing the scientists from the Mission Control Centre after the successful launch, ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan congratulated the launch vehicle and satellite teams involved in this challenging mission. “Today is a historical day for Space, Science and Technology in India. I am extremely happy to announce that GSLV MkIII-M1
successfully injected Chandrayaan-2 into an orbit of 6,000 km more than the intended orbit and is better.” “Today is the beginning of the historical journey of India towards Moon and to land at a place near south pole to carry out scientific
experiments to explore the unexplored', he said. President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers and the Chief Ministers of several states congratulated ISRO for successful launch of Chandrayaan-2.UNI