“It was three satellite missions in a single launch vehicle – two systems were not known to us, the Lander Vikram and Rover Pragyan,” said an elated K. Sivan, Chairman of ISRO, announcing the entry of the satellite into lunar orbit.
Sivan said, it was a ‘mind-boggling” effort by Team ISRO to bring the satellite and launcher back to readiness, after a technical snag was detected 53 minutes before the planned launch on 15th July.
“Quickly, the vehicle was brought back to normal, and the cause identified, all in 24 hours. In the next one and a half days, the required tests were conducted to ensure that the corrections were made in the right direction and we confirmed, and the vehicle was handed over to the management for taking further action,” said Dr Sivan.
The ISRO chief said, the launch vehicle, the GSLV Mark III's performance has increased by 15% compared to its earlier missions, and now it has achieved the capability to launch 4-tonne satellites, pushing India into the big boys’ space club.
“The ISRO will carry out 15 crucial manoeuvres in the next one and a half months and finally bring Chandrayaan-2 around the Moon. After that, D-day will come, and on that day, we are going to experience 15 minutes of terror to ensure that it lands safely near the South Pole,” he added.
Both houses of Indian Parliament have congratulated the ISRO scientists on this momentous achievement. “I extend the heartiest congratulations to all our countrymen, scientists and personnel of ISRO and the Department of Space on behalf of the entire House and on my behalf,” announced M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India and Chairman of the Upper House of Parliament, Rajya Sabha.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovid said, 'it is a proud moment for all Indians' and hoped the ISRO would continue to master new technologies and conquer new heights.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan were among those who hailed Team ISRO for their successful mission.
Chandrayaan-2 consists of an orbiter, lander and rover, and is scheduled to land on the moon through meticulously planned phases of manoeuvres on the 48th day or 7 September 2019. Its journey will cover a distance of about 384,000 km, and it carries 14 payloads to carry out various experiments.