Sriharikota: India’s second mission to Moon, Chandrayaan-2 onboard GSLVMkIII-M1 was called off due to a technical snag on Monday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
“A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at T-56 minute. As a measure of abundant precaution, #Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later,” the ISRO tweeted.
The lift-off of the three-component spacecraft weighing 3,850 kg and comprising an orbiter, the lander and the rover was scheduled for 2.51 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) here.
President Ram Nath Kovind had flown in to Sriharikota to witness the launch. Confusion prevailed at the media centre as the countdown timer stopped with 56.24 minutes to go for the lift-off. Mission Control made an announcement that the countdown has been held back. “It is not possible to make the launch within the launch window. A new schedule will be announced later,” Mission Control said.
ISRO had a launch window that ends on July 16 for the launch during this period. The launch of Chandrayaan 2 has suffered multiple setbacks with ISRO missing many deadlines since 2018. It was scheduled to be launched in a window between January and mid-February this year, but was put off yet again.
ISRO finally announced the current launch window and its chairman K. Sivan had then told The Hindu that the launch window was final and would be met. But that too fell apart in the early hours of July 15.
The mission was aborted just 20 minutes after ISRO announced the completion of filling of liquid hydrogen in the cryogenic stage of the GSLV-Mk-III.
The mission is set to be a test bed to demonstrate technologies required for deep space missions. The Chandrayaan 2 module, carrying an indigenous rover Pragyaan and a lander Vikram, was set to have separated 16 minutes after lift off, and touch down on the moon 54 days later. But with the calling off of the launch on July 15, the wait to reach the Lunar South Pole just got longer.