Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) heavy lift rocket – the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) – carried the 3,850 kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, as it blasted off from the Sriharikota spaceport.
The rocket, nicknamed Baahubali, is 43.4 metre tall and weighs 640 ton. It carried the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-2, which will carry out India’s second mission to its closest celestial neighbour.
After 16 minutes into the flight, the rocket will sling the Rs 603 crore Chandrayaan-2 into an Earth parking 170×39,120 km orbit. It will be a long journey for Chandrayaan-2 thereafter as the distance between the earth and the moon is about 384,400 km.
Ahead of Chandrayaan 2’s launch, ISRO explained on its website that space discovery can be attempted as well as documented at the moon since it is the closest cosmic body. “It is also a promising test bed to demonstrate technologies required for deep-space missions. Chandrayaan 2 attempts to foster a new age of discovery, increase our understanding of space, stimulate the advancement of technology, promote global alliances, and inspire a future generation of explorers and scientists,” ISRO said.