India successfully launched Chandrayaan-2 – or Moon Chariot 2 – which took off on time at 2:43 pm (0913 GMT) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on an island off the coast of Andhra Pradesh state.
Applause broke out in the mission control room as the rocket blasted off into the grey skies over the Indian Ocean and mission control announced that the orbiter had broken away from the rocket with no problem.
“Today is a historic day for space, science and tech in India,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Sivan said.
The launch came a week after a fuel leak forced a previous attempt to be scrubbed 56 minutes before the scheduled blast-off. India is set to follow Russia (USSR), the United States and China in landing a spacecraft on the Moon.
President Ram Nath Kovind watched the launch alongside 7,000 dignitaries and flag-waving children. The rocket carried an orbiter, a lander and a rover, and has been almost entirely designed and made in India. Read more