Chandrayaan-2 mission called off for today, technical snag observed: ISRO

Chandrayaan-2 mission called off for today, technical snag observed: ISRO

The aim of the mission, using India's strongest GSLV MKIII launcher, is to land a robotic rover on the moon near the South Pole.

Chandrayaan-2, the first Indian moon landing mission, is all set to head on its 384000 kms voyage to the moon in the wee hours of Monday, July 15.

Weighing 3.8 tons, the spacecraft will reach its lunar landing site after its several-weeks journey carrying 13 research satellites to explore the southern part of the moon. Sonakshi wrote, "One of India's most important and prestigious space missions, #Chandrayaan2, is led by women, which also happens to be a first for @isro!".

The orbiter has been outfitted with a variety of technologies to collect data on the moon's surface composition and atmosphere. An unmanned lunar probe was launched nearly a decade ago and was a landmark in India's space mission.

GSLV-MK III - the vehicle carrying Chandrayaan-2 which seems to have developed a technical glitch - is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons (S200), a liquid propellant core stage (L110) and a cryogenic stage (C-25).

Das urged India to get the country's private sector more involved in the mission's research and development, which he said could yield "huge benefits" beyond the realm of space exploration.

Officials did not give details of the problem or say when a new launch could be held.

With Chandrayaan-2, India will continue its search for water on the lunar surface after Chandrayaan-1 in 2009 made the breakthrough of discovering the presence of water molecules on the Moon's surface.

"The US mission was required to last two years". It will carry four Indian payloads to study the lunar surface, moonquakes, and its atmosphere, as well as a NASA payload to perform precise measurements of the Earth-Moon distance. For the first 17 days from lift-off, the spacecraft will be in Earth-bound phase before its orbit is finally raised to over 1.05 lakh km.

Only three countries - the former Soviet Union, the United States and China - have explored the Moon by soft-landing spacecraft on its surface.

The touchdown on lunar surface is expected to take place on 6 or 7 September.

Scientists have pegged to make the landing of lander "Vikram" on September 6 and then undertake a series of complex manoeuvres comprising "rough braking" and "fine braking". The solar-powered rover can travel up to 500 metres (yards) and is expected to work for one lunar day, the equivalent of 14 Earth days.

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