The launch of Chandrayaan 2, India’s ambitious second lunar mission, was aborted 56 minutes before the scheduled lift-off early on Monday. The cryogenic stage of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) MK-III-M1 was filled with liquid hydrogen at 1:34 am, when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists discovered a glitch in the launch vehicle system. At ‘T Minus 56 minutes, the countdown clock was stopped.
The launch vehicle has the capacity of carrying satellites of up to four tonnes weight. A mission control official at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre said, “The launch is called off due to a snag. It is not possible to make the launch within the window. The launch schedule will be announced later”.
With ISRO missing multiple deadlines, the Chandrayaan 2 launch has suffered numerous blows since 2018. Before July, it was planned to be launched between January and mid-February, but was called off then as well. ISRO chairman, K. Sivan had said that the July window for the launch was final and would be met, but that has fallen apart as well. This mission’s target was to put a rover on the moon’s South Pole, which has not been achieved by any country yet. The mission was supposed to be a testing ground for deep-space ventures. The Chandrayaan 2 module was scheduled to separate 16 minutes following take-off and touch down on the moon 54 days later.