Chandrayaan 2 called off

Chandrayaan 2 called off

The launch of Chandrayaan 2 was called off  due to a technical snag one hour before launch,  the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO informed.

The new dates would be announced soon and the detail of thesnag was not yet made public.

The powerful GSLV Mark III rocket was set to go up fromSriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 2:51 am with a rover that would land on themoon in about two months' time.

President Ram Nath Kovind was present at Sri Harikota for the mission as he earlier arrived to witness the launch in person.

The 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft comprising anorbiter, the lander and the rover will now lift off on the 640-tonne GSLV MarkIII (nicknamed "Baahubali"), India's most powerful rocket that's ashigh as a 15-storey building, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on anotherdate. This was going to be the Mark III's third launch.

About 16 minutes after its lift-off from Sriharikota,Chandrayaan 2 was expected to separate from the rocket and orbit the Earthseveral times before being slung towards the moon – a 3.84 lakh-km journey.

Once the spacecraft reaches the moon 54 days later, it willengage Vikram, a 1.4-tonne lander, which will in turn set the 27-kilogrammerover Pragyan down on a high plain between two craters on the lunar south pole.After touchdown on the moon, the rover is expected to conduct experiments forone Moon day equal to 14 Earth days, primarily to check if the lunar south polehas primordial water reserves.

If India succeeds in this moon mission, it will become thefourth country to soft-land a spacecraft on the lunar surface after the US,Russia and China. Israel had tried earlier this year but failed.

An analysis published by Sputnik International claimed thatthe approximate $124-million price tag of the Chandrayaan 2 is less than halfthe budget of Hollywood blockbuster Avengers Endgame ($356 million). The Indianspace agency has a budget that's 20 times less than NASA, its US counterpart.

India's next big mission will involve sending a human intoorbit through Gaganyaan by 2022.

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