20 August 2019
Chennai: The insertion of India's spacecraft to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, into the lunar orbit was a tense 30 minute operation, said ISRO Chairman K. Sivan.
"It was tense 30 minute operation. The tension and anxiety kept on building as the clock ticked. It was a great relief and joy when the Chandrayaan-2 was put into the lunar orbit successfully," Sivan told IANS soon after the crucial operation.
"We are visiting the moon once again," he added.
India's first moon mission -- Chandrayaan-1 -- was in 2008.
Around 200 officials were assembled at the ISRO centre.
Post the successful insertion, the officials rejoiced and greeted each other on an exceptional feat.
According to an ISRO official, the monitoring of Chandrayaan-2 was round-the-clock and officials were anxious to see that the spacecraft was on course to the moon.
Queried about the small rocket-Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)- Sivan said the realisation is in progress.
He also said the Gaganyaan -- India's human space mission -- is also in the process of realisation.
The selection of astronauts is on course.
The Indian space agency has chalked out plans to carry out an ambitious 36 launches in two years time that includes sending up satellites on 19 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), five Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-II (GSLV Mk II), seven GSLV Mk III and five small rockets.
After its moon landing mission-Chandrayaan-2- ISRO has set its eyes on Sun in 2019-20 with its Aditya-L1 probe. The mission is to study the Sun's corona.
Following that will may be the second mission to Mars in 2022-23 and also a mission to Venus in 2023.
A third mission to Moon with a plan to collect rock samples and coming back to earth is also on the ISRO's radar.
Inter-planetary missions aside, ISRO is also busy with its ambitious Rs.10,000 crore man-in-the-space mission or Gaganyaan mission.
The Indian space agency is working on building the capsule that would carry Indian astronauts to travel in the space and other necessary infrastructure.
Prior to that an unmanned space mission will be carried out.
The ISRO Chairman K.Sivan had told IANS that Indian space programme is now on mission 2.0 mode with programmes like human space mission, inter-planetary missions, setting up space stations, even while trying to catch up with other countries is incidental.
Sivan said: "From the design stage the human space capsule has progressed to realisation stage. We are targeting December 2020 for the first unmanned mission."
That aside, ISRO is also in the process of building a small rocket with a capacity to carry about 500 kg luggage.
The Indian space agency has also kick started the initiative to outsource PSLV rocket from private consortium.
The ISRO's new commercial arm NewSpace India Ltd has called for Expression of Interest (EoI) for manufacturing five PSLV rockets first, while the target is 12 rockets per year.
The Indian industry partners will be permitted to utilize the capital-intensive facilities already realized within ISRO centres under Government Owned Company Operated (GOCO) model for this purpose wherever appropriate/feasible.
Upon successful and satisfactory completion of realization of first lot of five PSLVs, NewSpace India/ISRO will enhance the scope for realisation of PSLVs to 12 per annum, under a separate contract.
The private industry will use the existing approved supply chain of ISRO for the purpose.