Hours after India's high-profile moon mission Chandrayaan 2 lifted off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, NASA congratulated the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the successful launch. In a tweet, the premier US space agency said that it looks forward to Chandrayaan 2's findings about the moon.
"Congrats to ISRO on the launch of Chandrayaan 2, a mission to study the Moon. We're proud to support your mission comms using our Deep Space Network and look forward to what you learn about the lunar South pole where we will send astronauts on our Artemis mission in a few years," NASA tweeted.
Congrats to @ISRO on the launch of Chandrayaan 2, a mission to study the Moon. We're proud to support your mission comms using our Deep Space Network and look forward to what you learn about the lunar South pole where we will send astronauts on our #Artemis mission in a few years pic.twitter.com/dOcWBX3kOE— NASA (@NASA) July 22, 2019
Chandrayaan 2, called ISRO's most complex and prestigious mission, lifted off from its launch pad at 2:43 pm today, on board a heavy-lift rocket. Space scientists had a narrow one-minute window for their second attempt to launch the moon mission today, a week after it was aborted due to a technical glitch at the cryogenic stage.
ISRO's budget is less than 1/20th of NASA. The success of the Rs. 1,000-crore moon mission would be a giant boost for India's space plans.
Chandrayaan 2 can make India the fourth country after the US, Russia and China to successfully make a soft-landing on the moon.
The spacecraft is also carrying an instrument from NASA and ISRO will not charge any ticket for carrying the foreign instrument all the way to the Moon.
NASA has supplied a special 'Laser Retro Reflector' that India has placed on its Vikram Lander. This instrument is used to measure the exact distance between the Earth and the Moon. ISRO hopes to land very close to the South Pole of the Moon.
In May, NASA unveiled its schedule for the "Artemis" program that will return astronauts to the Moon for the first time in half a century. The original lunar missions were named for Apollo -- Artemis was his twin sister in Greek mythology, and the goddess of hunting, wilderness and the Moon.
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