Published On: Sun, Jul 21st, 2019

Chandrayaan-2: Countdown for ‘Bahubali’ rocket take-off going smoothly

Chennai: The countdown for Monday’s Rs 978 crore Chandrayaan-2 mission launch that started at 6.43 pm is progressing smoothly, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Sunday.

GSLV-Mk III will also be used for India’s manned space mission in 2022

The rocket and spacecraft’s systems will undergo checks and fuelling during the countdown.

The GSLV-Mk III rocket with Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was originally scheduled for flight at 2.51 am on July 15. However, the flight was postponed after a technical snag was detected an hour prior to the rocket lift-off.

The ISRO later rectified the fault in its 44-metre Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III). Weighing about 640-tonne, the GSLV-Mk III rocket is nicknamed ‘Bahubali’ after the hero of a successful film of the same name.

Just like the protagonist of the film lifted a heavy Lingam in one of its scenes, the rocket will carry the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft.

About 16-minutes into its flight, the Rs 375-crore GSLV-Mk III rocket is expected to sling the Rs 603-crore Chandrayaan-2 into its 170×40400-km orbit.

ISRO has sent up three GSLV-Mk III rockets so far. The first carried Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment in December 2014. The second and third GSLV-Mk III carried communication satellites GSAT-19 and GSAT-29 in February 2017 and November 2018 respectively.

GSLV-Mk III will also be used for India’s manned space mission in 2022.

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