- Chandrayaan 2 moon mission will lift off next Monday at 2:43 pm
- The launch was stopped this Monday due to technical snag
- Chandrayaan-2 is the most complex mission ever undertaken: K Sivan
India's Rs 1,000-crore Chandrayaan 2 moon mission will lift off next Monday at 2:43 pm from Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota, space agency ISRO announced today, days after the first launch attempt was called off.
The mission, which can make India the fourth country after the US, Russia and China to successfully pull off a soft-landing on the moon, was stopped 56 minutes and 24 seconds before its launch this Monday after a technical snag was discovered in the unmanned the launch vehicle system.
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 (@isro) July 14, 2019
A senior Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official told NDTV that if the problem would not have been rectified earlier, Chandrayaan 2 would have been a "total failure".
"The problem was serious, but simple to resolve. Luckily, we caught the problem. Alertness, prayers and the good wishes of one billion Indians helped avert the mission's total failure," the official said.
The technical issue in question was with the critical cryogenic stage, the last such stage space vehicles enter just before they are about to launch.
Highly flammable liquid hydrogen and oxygen used in the cryogenic stage were removed from the rocket and the problem was then addressed with the "tightening" of an errant component, the ISRO official told NDTV.
ISRO said after the snag was detected, "an expert committee was constituted to analyze the issue and suggest remedial action". The committee identified the cause of the problem and "all corrective actions are implemented". "Thereafter, the system performance is normal," it added.
The 640-tonne rocket, officially known as the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (GSLV Mk 3), fondly nicknamed 'Baahubali', is 44 metres long or as tall as a 15-storey building.
On lift-off, the GSLV rocket will launch into space an orbiter, a lander 'Vikram' (named after ISRO founder and eminent Indian scientist Vikram Sarabhai) and a moon rover 'Pragyaan'.
A soft landing on the moon, or as ISRO chairman K Sivan terms it, the "fifteen minutes of terror", will then be attempted, after which the rover will undertake research, including a thorough mapping of the moon's resources, looking for the presence of water on the moon and clicking high resolution images as well.
K Sivan has called Chandrayaan-2 the "most complex mission ever undertaken by ISRO".
Considering ISRO's budget is less than 20 times that of USA's NASA, a success story for the Rs 1,000-crore moon mission, which cost lesser to make than Hollywood blockbuster 'Avengers: Endgame', would be a giant boost for India's plan to acquire a significant presence in space.
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