Isro launches Chandrayaan-2 from Sri Harikota as millions cheer

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@ Amit Poswal | Sr Journalist

(ISRO) launched its second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, from Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota on Monday. Chandrayaan-2 lifted off on board, the 640-tonne rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), from the country’s only launch site Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Millions of people watched the launch of Isro’s most powerful launcher in India and abroad as the heavy-lift rocket roared off into the skies.

Significantly, a week after the lift-off was aborted at the eleventh hour due to a technical snag. India deferred its second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2 for the fifth time last Monday, roughly an hour before blast-off after scientists noticed a glitch in the launch vehicle, delaying its bid to become only the fourth country.

The 3,850kg Chandrayaan-2 consists of an orbiter that will circle the moon for about a year, taking images and testing the atmosphere; a lander named Vikram, after India’s space pioneer Vikram Sarabhai; and a rover named Pragyaan, which means wisdom in Sanskrit.

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