India’s Second Lunar Mission Delayed Due To ‘Technical Snag’
Spectators leave a viewing gallery after India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, was called off, in Sriharikota, India, July 15, 2019 (Photo: REUTERS/P. Ravikumar).
INDIA’S space agency said it delayed the launch of its second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, in the early hours of Monday (15) due to a “technical snag” which was observed less than an hour before the scheduled liftoff.
“A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at T-56 minute,” the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), said in a tweet.
“As a measure of abundant precaution, Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today.”
The mission, which the ISRO chairman said is the most complex mission it has ever undertaken, was scheduled to launch at 21.21 GMT, on the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III rocket.
ISRO said it will announce the revised launch date later.
India successfully carried out its first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, nearly 11 years ago.
The Rs 10-billion mission, if successful, would boost India’s aspirations to catch up with global space leaders the US and China and put it in a better position to compete in the commercial space market.
Success would make India only the fourth country behind the US, Russia, and China to perform a “soft”, or controlled, landing on the moon and put a rover on it.
This would be the third attempted moon landing this year after China’s successful Chang’e-4 lunar probe and Israeli spacecraft Beresheet, which failed and crashed on to the moon in April.