India's second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 scheduled to be launched today with a lander and rover has been delayed again, officials said today.
"The next launch date of Chandrayaan-2 has not been confirmed yet," a spokesman of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
This is the second time the space agency deferred the mission launch after it was put off first time in October for unspecified reasons.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan had said earlier that they planned to launch Chandrayaan-2 on January 3, but the reason for the delay has not been made public yet.
"The window to launch the Moon mission for landing on its surface is, however, open till March," Mr Sivan had said.
The Rs 800-crore Chandrayaan-2 mission comes a decade after the maiden mission Chandrayaan-1 was launched on October 22, 2008 from the country's only spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The 3,890-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, to be launched onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-3, will orbit around the Moon to study its conditions and collect data of its topography, mineralogy and exosphere.
After reaching the 100-km lunar orbit, lander with rover will separate from the spacecraft and gradually descend to soft land on the Moon at a designated spot. The rover's instruments will observe and study the lunar surface.
The lander has been named "Vikram" as a tribute to the pioneer of India's space programme and former ISRO chairman (1963-71) Vikram Sarabhai.
When Chandrayaan-2's rover lands on the Moon, India will be the fourth country in the world to achieve the feat after China in December 2013, the US in 1969 and then Soviet Union in 1959.
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