New Delhi, July 22 (IANS): Leaders from across the political spectrum on Monday applauded the successful launch of the Chandrayaan-2 Mission and termed it a proud moment for the country.
Soon after India's second lunar mission 'Babubali' GSLV rocket put Chandrayaan-2 into the orbit, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the launch historic and a proud moment for all the countrymen.
"The historic launch of Chandrayaan-2 from Sriharikota is a proud moment for all Indians. Congratulations to our scientists and engineers for furthering India's indigenous space programme. May ISRO continue(s) to master new technologies and continue to conquer new frontiers," the President tweeted.
Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu said the landing of Chandrayaan-2, "an indigenously developed spacecraft launched by India's most powerful rocket GSLV MKIII, on the moon in a few weeks would make India the fourth country to do so."
Noting that Chandrayaan-2 will be the first spacecraft to land close to the moon's South Pole in some 50 days from now, he said, "The mission is expected to lead to new discoveries and enrich our knowledge systems. I wish the Chandrayaan-2 team every success."
Modi called it a special moment "that will be etched in the annals of our glorious history!"
Along with congratulating the ISRO team for "setting yet another benchmark in the field of space technology", Union Home Minister Amit Shah also thanked Modi for encouraging "institutions for setting new standards every time".
Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Rajnath Singh and Piyush Goyal too congratulated the ISRO team.
"If lunar landing of Apollo 11 was hailed as 'giant leap for mankind' the launch of Chandrayaan-2 will be remembered as a 'giant leap for womankind.' Congratulations to the ISRO team, led by space scientists M. Vanitha and Ritu Karidhal, for India's leap to the lunar south pole," Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.
Former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj wished the mission a grand success.
The Congress also congratulated the ISRO team for the successful launch of Chandrayaan-2 and recalled country's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
"This is a good time to remember the visionary move of India's first PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to fund space research through INCOSPAR in 1962, which later became ISRO. And also Dr Manmohan Singh for sanctioning the Chandrayaan-2 project in 2008," the Congress tweeted.
Chief Ministers of Delhi (Arvind Kejriwal), Chhattisgarh (Bhupesh Baghel), Telangana (K. Chandrashekar Rao), and Uttar Pradesh (Yogi Adityanath) also called the mission historic and congratulated the ISRO team.
The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) blasted off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota spaceport at 2.43 p.m.
About 16 minutes into its flight, the rocket put into orbit Chandrayaan-2 to begin its 48-day journey to the Moon. The success of the mission will make India the fourth country in the world to land a vehicle and travel on the Moon surface after the US, Russia and China.