Precisely an hour before the designated launch of Chandrayaan-2, a technical snag occurred. This in turn, forced ISRO to take necessary precautions and call off the launch at once.
What had happened?
Just so you know, Chandrayaan 2 is India’s second mission to moon. It was approved by the cabinet in 2008, which was just after Chandrayaan 1. As per the cabinet, Russia’s Roscosmos was tasked to build the lander. But Russia couldn’t finish the work in given time, and also failed to reach Phobos (moon of Mars).
This prompted India to take up the mission in its own hands, and begin the preparation for Chandrayaan 2. As per the schedule, Chandrayaan 2 was supposed to take flight in March 2018, but had to be delayed due to some setbacks.
The GSLV Mark III carrying the orbiter, lander, and rover was supposed to take off at 02:51 am from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
However, the launch came to a halt as an “abundant precaution”. A technical glitch was noticed in the launch vehicle systems after filling liquid hydrogen in the cryogenic upper stage of the rocket, which later prompted the cancellation.
What were the changes?
Design changes of the lander were required along with other modifications that was spotted later.
There were other changes incorporated for a smooth mission that included a change in the orbit, and the new GSLV Mark III launch vehicle to carry the heavier satellite. After the changes were made, the date was set to be in July 2019. However, again something came up and ISRO missed this window.
“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 statement read.
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When will it launch?
As per the officials, there were four suitable window periods for the launch of Chandrayaan 2. The first one was in the month of July – July 15 and 16. The next bracket falls during new moon, i.e. on July 29 and 30, but it seems that the launch won’t be possible even then.
“The stages will now have to be drained to see what went wrong,” confirmed an official.
With this, it was also revealed that the next window for launch will be in September. Sadly, ISRO’s dream to launch Chandrayaan 2 on July 15, which is just days before the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong first walking on moon, was missed.
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India might have missed this window but we are sure that the team will fix the issues and be ready for the launch in the next window which is foxed in September. Twitter and other social media platforms are supporting this step and encouraging ISRO for taking an appropriate decision by cancelling the launch.