Chandrayaan-1, India’s maiden moon spacecraft, was on Wednesday put into Transfer Orbit around the earth by the Polar Launch Vehicle

Chandrayaan-I launch
Chandrayaan-I has been launched from Sriharikota. (Pic courstesy: Times Now)

PSLV-C11 about 19 minutes after it blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here. ( Watch )

The 1,380 kg Chandrayaan-1, carrying 11 payloads, was released into a Tansfer Orbit at a perigee (nearest point to earth) of about 250 km and apogee (farthest point from the earth) of about 23,000 km, 18.2 minutes after the PSLV-C11 blasted off as the scientists broke into jubilation at the mission control centre.

After a series of procedures over the next two weeks, the spacecraft would reach its desired Lunar orbit and placed at a height of 100 km from the Lunar surface, marking the operational phase of the mission which would put India in the elite lunar club.

Earlier, at the end of the 49-hour countdown, the 44.4 meter tall four-stage PSLV-11 lifted off from the second launch pad into a cloudy sky.

This is the 14th flight of ISRO’s workhorse PSLV, which had launched 29 satellites into a variety of orbits since 1993, and 13th successive one in a row.

Chandrayaan-1 is carrying 11 payloads, five entirely designed and developed in India, three from European Space Agency, one from Bulgaria and two from US, which would explore the Moon over the next two years.