Chandrayaan 2 Launch: Isro launches Chandrayaan-2 from Sriharikota

Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) launched its second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, from Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota.

Chandrayaan-2 lifted off onboard Isro’s most powerful launcher, the 640-tonne rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), from the country’s only launch site Satish Dhawan Space Centre.The distance between the Earth and the moon is about 3.844 lakh km.

The launcher of Chandrayaan-2, nicknamed ‘Bahubali’, measured 44metres in height. The three-stage vehicle is capable of launching 4-tonne class of satellites to the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).


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.

The mission will send the rover to the moon’s south pole and Indian scientists hope to directly observe the water ice on the lunar surface, evidence for which was gathered by spectrometers aboard India’s first moon mission in 2008.

Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to soft-land Vikram and Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70° south.The rover and the lander will have a life of one lunar day (14 earth days) and for that lunar day, it will conduct scientific experiments. The orbiter, however, has a life of one year.

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) instrument for LASER ranging will be carried by the mission as a mark of cooperation between the two space agencies. India will use the Deep Space Network of the US space agency on payment basis for navigation and guidance.

The mission carries 13 Indian scientific instruments for experiments. Imaging of rock will be done to find elements like magnesium, calcium and iron and also for signs of water. Mission will also study the exosphere of the moon.

Isro is following the same launch strategy followed for Chandrayaan-1. However, Chandrayaan 1 was just an orbiter while Chandrayaan-2 has lander and rover components adding complexity to the mission.GSLV-Mk III will also be used for India’s manned space mission slated in 2022.

It is a giant leap in India’s space program and its success will solidify its place among the world’s spacefaring nations with Chandrayaan-2 aimed landing a rover near the unexplored south pole.


ISRO: It was established with it’s headquarter at Bangalore in 1969. It functions under overall control of department of space.K. Sivan; the current Chairman of Space Commission, Secretary, Department of Space, Government of India.


It is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle, measuring 43.494 m and weighing 640 tonnes.

The first stage has two boosters with solid propellant, the second is the core with liquid propellant, and the cryogenic engine forms the final stage.With the success of this launch, the developmental phase of the GSLV Mk III vehicle programme will be complete and the vehicle’s operational phase will begin.


Different orbits serve different purposes. An orbit is a curved path of a celestial object around another celestial object due to the force of gravity. Orbits are everywhere in our universe. The Moon orbits the Earth, and the Earth orbits the Sun, and the Sun orbits around the center of the galaxy.

The  near polar orbits have an inclination near 90 degrees. This allows the satellite to see virtually every part of the Earth as the Earth rotates underneath it.

Sun-Synchronous orbit; The satellite travels from the north to the south poles as the Earth turns below it.The satellite passes over the same part of the Earth at roughly the same local time each day. These orbits allows a satellite to pass over a section of the Earth at the same time of day.These satellites orbit at an altitude between 700 to 800 km.   When a satellite has a sun-synchronous orbit, it means that it has a constant sun illumination through inclination and altitude. For sun-synchronous orbits, it passes over any given point on Earth’s surface at the same local solar time.Satellites that take pictures of the Earth would work best with bright sunlight.

A geosynchronous orbit is an orbit around the Earth, where the object orbits once per day. A common kind of geosynchronous orbit is called a geostationary orbit, where the object orbits above the same part of the Earth at all times. Geostationary satellites are launched into orbit in the same direction the Earth is spinning. When the satellite is in orbit at a specific altitude, it will exactly match the rotation of the Earth. The Earth actually takes 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4.09 seconds to make one full revolution. So this would put the satellite at approximately 35,790 km above the Earth.

This is an extremely useful type of orbit and is used for anything where a satellite needs to send or receive signals from the same part of the Earth all the time. It’s used for cell phone satellites, television satellites, weather satellites, as well as some military satellites.

Cryogenics is the study of the production and behaviour of materials at extremely low temperatures (below -150 degree Centigrade) to lift and place the heavier objects in space. Cryogenic engine makes use of Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) as propellants which liquefy at -183 deg C and -253 deg C respectively.A cryogenic engine provides more force with each kilogram of cryogenic propellant it uses compared to other propellants, such as solid and liquid propellant rocket engines and is more efficient.


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