Sriharikota, July 15: The launch of Chandrayaan-2, India's ambitious second moon mission, was called off minutes before the lift-off by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday due to a technical snag. The lift-off was scheduled to be carried out from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 2.51 am on July 15. Chandrayaan 2 was to be launched on board the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III 'Baahubali' rocket. "A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at T-56 minute. As a measure of abundant precaution, Chandrayaan 2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later," ISRO said in a statement.
The second moon mission comes eleven years after the first one and is said to have an aim to explore the dark side of the Moon after it lands on the cosmic body's south polar region. A number of visitors had gathered outside the Satish Dhawan Space Centre to watch the historic launch live.
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.
— ISRO (@isro) July 14, 2019
Chandrayaan-2 includes a lunar orbiter, lander and rover, all developed indigenously. The lander is named Vikram while the rover is called Pragyan. The mission will attempt a soft landing of the lander and rover in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N. The wheeled rover will move on the lunar surface and will perform on-site chemical analysis. Chandrayaan 1 Flashback: A Look At The Observations of India's First Moon Mission Ahead of Chandrayaan 2 Launch by ISRO.
The total mass of the Chandrayaan 2 satellite is 3.8 ton. The lander-Vikram will land near South Pole of the moon on September 6, 2019. Subsequently, Rover will roll out and carry out experiments on Lunar surface for a period of 1 Lunar day, which is equal to 14 Earth days. The Orbiter will continue its mission for a duration of one year.
India has spent about $140 million to get Chandrayaan-2 ready for the 384,400 kilometres (around 240,000 miles) trip from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre to the scheduled landing on the lunar South Pole on September 6. The mission will also highlight how far space travel has advanced since Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind during the Apollo 11 mission.