New Delhi, Oct.23 : The successful launch of Chandrayaan-I, India's maiden unmanned mission to the moon, has elated people across the spectrum in the country, as it lent a fillip to India's emergence as a super power in science and technology.
The jubilation was felt loud n' clear in the national capital on Wednesday when cutting across party lines, political leaders, students and others applauded the efforts of Indian scientists.
"We are extremely happy with the success achieved in this milestone space programme and we warmly congratulate all the scientists and everybody who was involved in the project. More strength to India's space programme," said Brinda Karat, member of Politburo, Communist Party of India (Marxist).
"We are proud of our engineers, we are proud of our scientists. A launch like this has involved thousands and thousands of people over many years. I would like to pay tribute to the entire team of the space mission. And this marks a major step of India becoming a technological power," said Karan Singh, Member of Parliament, Congress Party.
Chandrayaan-1, a cuboid spacecraft, built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) blasted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota shortly after dawn on Wednesday.
For many proud Indians, the launch is another notch in the country's search for global recognition.
"This has been done for the first time. It is unique and one of its own kind of launch vehicle on the moon. This will help India to develop and Indian scientists are quite capable. I feel that what they have made will be successful. This has included India in a special club of countries such as China, US and Germany," said Vishu Sharma, a student.
About 1,000 engineers and technicians of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rolled up their sleeves and worked hard for the past two months to ensure a flawless launch.
"I feel that this space vehicle sent by India will be very important in development of the country because firstly, India will come into the group of elite nations as India is the sixth nation to do this," said Kunal Soni, a student.
"It shows that India is developing and the technology is very nice. India's research centre is doing a lot of hard work. And it will be successful" Shandar, a resident of Delhi.
India has launched 10 remote sensing satellites since 1998. It has several broadcast satellites in space to control 170 transponders and has also launched light-weight satellites for Belgium, Germany, Korea, Japan and France.
India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV11) on Wednesday morning successfully put Chandrayaan-1 into its initial orbit, marking the spacecraft's long journey to the Moon.
This was the maiden occasion when India sent a spacecraft to the Moon, 3.84 lakh kilometers away and became the sixth country to do so, after Russia, the U.S, The European Space Agency, Japan and China.
Chandrayaan-I launched at a cost of rupees 3.86 billion will be another stepping stone in India's quest to explore the mysteries of outer space. By Priyankka Singh