India’s much anticipated Chandrayaan-2 mission launch has been called off due to a technical problem in the launch vehicle system.
The mission which is India’s 2nd mission to the moon was halted just 56 minutes before the launch early morning on Monday.
This launch was scheduled to have taken place at 2.51 am from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The lunar spacecraft was to be launched aboard a 640-tonne rocket named Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-III. The technical snag was noticed when the cryogenic fuel was being loaded into it. An investigation of the rocket is underway and the whole process would take at least 10 days.
No word for now
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that it is not possible to carry out the launch within the launch window and the next launch schedule will be announced later.
What the mission is about?
The spacecraft which weighs 3,850 kg has three components- an orbiter, the lander (Vikram) and the rover (Pragyaan).
Among the lander’s payloads is a Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) of NASA which is aimed at understanding dynamics of Earth’s Moon system and studying moon’s interiors.
‘Keeping Fingers Crossed’
When launched, Chandrayaan-2 will be the 1st Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface.
If successful, it will make India the 4th country after the US, Russia and China to achieve this feat.