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Chandrayaan-2 launches, carries a dream of placing a rover on the Moon

Chandrayaan-2 is on its way to the Moon, launching from Sriharikota this afternoon. The Chandrayaan-2 Mission aims to place a rover on the Moon later this year

Chandrayaan-2 launches, carrying a dream of placing a rover on the Moon

The six-wheeled Pragyaan is finally on its way to the Moon.

At 2:43 this afternoon, a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk-III) ‘Bahubali’ rocket blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. On board was a dream of placing a rover on the Moon.

The three-stage GSLV Mk-III rocket succesfully went through all the three stages and succesfully injected Chandrayaan-2 into a lower Earth orbit shortly after launch.

The launch came exactly a week after Chandrayaan-2 was originally scheduled to leave Earth. Chandrayaan-2 was supposed to launch early morning on July 15, but a technical glitch forced the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to call off the launch.

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Isro fixed the technical glitch and rescheduled the Chandrayaan-2 launch for July 22 at 2:43 pm.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission is India’s second journey to the Moon and its most ambitious and complex space project yet. In September this year, Chandrayaan-2 will aim to land a rover on the Moon, making India the fourth country in the world to do so.

The Chandrayaan-2 payload consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover (Photo: AP)

Chandrayaan-2, which also consists of an orbiter, will aim to follow up on the legacy of the Chandrayaan-1 mission, which found evidence of water on the Moon.

Among the experiments the Chandrayaan-2 will carry out include tests to understand the extent of water distribution under the lunar surface. Apart from studying the Moon’s surface, Chandrayaan-2 will also examine the satellite’s outer atmosphere.

Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to land a rover on the Moon in the first week of September (Photo: Twitter/Isro)

Chandrayaan-2 consists of three components: the orbiter, the lander and the rover. Once Chandrayaan-2 reaches the Moon, the orbiter will enter into an orbit around the satellite.

The orbiter will continue revolving around the Moon for a year, performing experiments to study the satellite’s outer atmosphere.

In the first week of September, the lander — named Vikram — will detach from the orbiter and fly towards the Moon. On or around September 6, Vikram will land near the Moon’s south pole, a feat previously not achieved by any other country.

Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second mission to the Moon (Photo: Twitter/Isro)

Once Vikram lands on the Moon, the rover Pragyaan will roll out on to the lunar surface. Pragyaan will then carry out surface and sub-surface experiments for one lunar day, which is equal to around 14 Earth days.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission is a giant leap forward in India’s space dreams. The mission is also a precursor to the ambitious Gaganyaan project, which aims to place three Indians in space by 2022.

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