This Article is From Jul 22, 2019

Shah Rukh Khan, Virat Kohli Cheer Chandrayaan 2 Launch

Chandrayaan 2, ISRO's most complex and prestigious mission, is expected to make India the fourth country to soft land a rover on the lunar surface

Shah Rukh Khan, Virat Kohli Cheer Chandrayaan 2 Launch

Shah Rukh Khan also asked Chandrayaan 2 to "chaand taare todh lao (bring back the Moon and stars)"

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO after the launch of Chandrayaan 2, India's most ambitious space mission yet, at 2.43 pm today from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The Prime Minister said Chandrayaan 2 was "Indian in heart, Indian in spirit" and that the "unique" mission would provide new knowledge about the Moon.

A Rs 1,000-crore mission that aims at making India only the fourth country - after the US, Russia and China - to complete a soft landing on the Moon, the Chandrayaan 2 launch had been delayed by a week after a "technical snag" forced the first attempt on July 15 to be called off.

PM Modi, who watched the launch live from his office in Delhi, also said he hoped that ISRO's "top quality research and innovation" would encourage youngsters to take up science.

"Indian at heart, Indian in spirit! What would make every Indian overjoyed is the fact that #Chandrayaan2 is a fully indigenous mission. It will have an Orbiter for remote sensing the Moon and also a Lander-Rover module for analysis of lunar surface," the Prime Minister tweeted.

#Chandrayaan2 is unique because it will explore and perform studies on the south pole region of lunar terrain which is not explored and sampled by any past mission. This mission will offer new knowledge about the Moon," he added.

NASA also congratulated ISRO for the successful launch of Chandrayaan 2. 

As the 640-tonne Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (GSLV Mk 3), the country's most expensive and most powerful rocket rumbled to life and lifted off, carrying a lunar orbiter, a lander (called Vikram) and a rover (called Pragyaan), Twitter also came alive, with messages of congratulations for the team at ISRO.

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, who was scheduled to attend last week's failed launch, also tweeted, writing that the "historic launch of Chandrayaan 2 is a proud moment for all Indians".

Home Minister Amit Shah said the launch had set "yet another benchmark in the field of space technology". The senior BJP leader also thanked PM Modi for "encouraging institutions" to set those standards.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was quoted by news agency ANI as saying ISRO had "scripted a new chapter" in India's space history.

"Congratulations to ISRO scientists on flawless launching of #Chandrayaan2. Team ISRO scripted a new chapter in India's space history with launch of this ambitious & indigenous Mission to Moon. Nation is extremely proud of its scientists & Team ISRO," he said.

"Congratulations on #Chandrayaan2. Compliments to the entire team @isro," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The Congress tweeted an image of Chandrayaan 2 on the launch pad, and said, "Congratulations Team @isro for the successful launch of #Chandryaan2."

Congratulations also poured in from the world of sports and cinema, with Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan tweeting.

"Another historic and proud moment for the nation as the #Chandrayaan 2 is launched Jai Hind #ISRO #IndiaMoonMission," Virat Kohli said.

Shah Rukh Khan, meanwhile, not only offered ISRO his praise but also asked Chandrayaan 2 to "chaand taare todh lao (bring back the Moon and stars)".

Akshay Kumar said ISRO had "accomplished a mammoth feat".

"#ISRO has yet again accomplished a mammoth feat. Salute to the team who have spent countless days ensuring the success of #Chandrayaan2 @isro," the actor said.

Businessman Anand Mahindra, who had earlier admitted that he could "feel my own heartbeat aligning itself to the countdown", said the successful separation of the cryogenic stage was a validation of Indian research efforts.

"Was waiting to see the @isro folks hug each other before breathing normally again! Validation of our cryogenic tech is a technological breakthrough. It will enable us to make many more moon missions. I stand & salute our scientists. They are deservedly our new celebrities," Mr Mahindra tweeted.

Meanwhile, @TeamSpaceIL, a Twitter account operated by the Israeli space agency, also tweeted.

"#Chandrayaan2 lifted off successfully and is on its way to the Moon. Congratulations to our Indian colleagues, we look forward to more of your successes! Chandrayaan 2 is particularly intriguing as it will go to the Moon's south pole to find out more about lunar water @isro," the message read.

In April, Israeli spacecraft Beresheet had attempted to do what Chandryaan 2 is trying to do - soft land on the Moon. However, the mission failed and the spacecraft crash landed on the lunar surface.

Last week's Chandrayaan 2 launch was stopped 56 minutes and 24 seconds before lift-off  ISRO said the decision had been taken "as a measure of abundant precaution".

The ISRO chairman has called Chandrayaan 2 the "most complex mission ever undertaken by ISRO".

Considering ISRO's budget is less than 20 times that of USA's NASA, a success story for the Rs. 1,000-crore moon mission, which cost less than Hollywood blockbuster 'Avengers: Endgame', would be a giant boost for India's space plans.

With inputs from ANI