India halts space mission | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:45 AM, July 16, 2019

India halts space mission

Second lunar mission delayed due to ‘technical snag’: ISRO; revised launch date not yet fixed

The US$142 millions Chandrayaan-2 mission was a prestigious one as it aimed to make India as the fourth nation in the world to land and ride on the moon after the US, Russia and China.

Nearly an hour before the scheduled time early yesterday, India’s ambitious mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2, was aborted after a “technical snag” was observed in the launch vehicle system.

The 640-tonne rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) nicknamed “Baahubali” carrying the orbiter, lander, and rover was to take off at 2 hours 51 minutes, early yesterday morning from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

However, after first being put on hold 56 minutes before blast-off, the launch was scrapped because of a “technical snag”, ISRO said.

A revised launch date has not been announced yet.

“A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at 1 hour before the launch. As a measure of abundant precaution, #Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later,” ISRO tweeted.

About 16 minutes after its lift-off, Rs 603 crore Chandrayaan 2 was expected to separate from the Rs 375 crore GSLV-Mk III rocket and orbit the Earth several times before being slung towards the moon, which will nearly take two months to land.

The Rs 978 crore Chandrayaan-2 mission was a prestigious one as it aimed to make India as the fourth nation in the world to land and ride on the moon after the US, Russia and China.

Talking to news agency ANI, former Defence Research and Development Organisation’s director of public interface, Ravi Gupta said, “It was the right decision to call off Chandrayaan-2 launch. We could not have taken any chance in such a big mission. Several rounds of testing are performed for every part. Every movement needs to be monitored at every second”.

 

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