New Delhi: Exactly a week after its launch was aborted due to a technical glitch, India’s ambitious second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2 is now set to take off on Monday afternoon, said Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
“The launch which was called off due to a technical snag on 15 July is now rescheduled at 2:43 pm on 22 July," tweeted the national space agency, here on Thursday.
The Geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) Mk-III M1, Isro’s most powerful rocket was scheduled to take off at 2:51 am on 15 July, with the Chandrayaan-2 module consisting of an orbiter, a lander and a rover. However, some technical glitch was detected 56 minutes before the scheduled launch, compelling the scientists to halt the launch.
The agency had completed the filling of fuel, including liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, into the cryogenic stage of the rocket, indicating the process was running normally till the last hour. Isro has yet not disclosed details on the nature of the error encountered.
The mission comes around 11 years after the space agency’s maiden journey to the moon, which successfully provided evidence of water on the moon. In the second mission, Isro aspires to build on those experiments and do more focused studies on the extent and distribution of water on the moon’s surface and below it.
It will also be the first time, that India would attempt a ‘soft landing’ on the south pole of the moon. If successful, it will become only the fourth country in the world, after US, Russia and China to achieve the feat.
While the original date for attempting the landing was on September 6, when the lunar day begins, the agency has not yet announced when the landing would be attempted now.
As per the initial plan, the integrated module was supposed to remain in earth's orbit for first 17 days and then move to the lunar orbit after necessary orbital raising manoeuvres are performed.
Both the lander Vikram and Rover Pragyaan would then separate from the orbiter on 6 September and make a touchdown on the moon.
While orbiter would revolve around the moon for a period of one year, the Lander and Vikram would map the lunar surface for water and minerals and conduct experiments.