Barely a week earlier than the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, ISRO was set to take a large leap for India by launching Chandrayaan-2, its second mission to the moon. Nonetheless, the launch was called off just a few minutes earlier than the 2.51 am lift-off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, as a result of a technical snag. Based on a news agency, the snag was observed when the cryogenic fuel was being loaded. A new launch schedule will likely be introduced after the rocket is emptied of fuel and investigated.
A profitable Chandrayaan-2 launch would have made India the fourth country to soft-land on the lunar surface after Russia, the USA, and China, placing it in an elite space club.
The three-component spacecraft, weighing 3,850 kg and comprising an orbiter, lander, and rover, aimed to go where no different nation has gone: the lunar south pole. The Rs 978 crore Chandrayan-2 mission was riding on the Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle GSLV-MkIII and was scheduled to take 54 days to perform the duty of landing on the moon via meticulously planned orbital phases.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan earlier known as Chandrayaan-2 “the following leap in technology.” President Ram Nath Kovind was in Sriharikota for the launch. The spacecraft aimed to land around September 6, and discover an area that no other nation has done so far. This could help enhance the world’s understanding of the moon and will lead to discoveries that can benefit India and humanity as a whole.