One week after a first attempt was canceled at the last minute, a 142-feet-tall rocket blasted off at 2:43 p.m. on Monday from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on India’s southeast coast, carrying an unmanned lunar lander and the country’s space dreams.
CNN reports that the rocket rose on a funnel of fire, ripping through the air perfectly straight and surprisingly fast, before vanishing into a thick bank of clouds, heading for the south pole of the moon.
Last week, Indian rocket scientists abruptly called off the uncrewed moon mission less than an hour before liftoff.
According to reports, they had found a technical snag and later disclosed that one of the helium tanks in the upper stage of the rocket had been slightly losing pressure.
India plans to land a remote-controlled lander softly on the moon’s surface near the pole, which it will then explore with a small, six-wheeled rover.
If successful, India will become the fourth nation after the United States, Russia and China to land on the moon, more than 200,000 miles away.
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