New Delhi, July 16 (BNA): India’s space organization is examining the technical snag behind Monday’s aborted launch of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon and expects to set a new launch date within days.
The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off less than an hour before liftoff by the Indian Space Research Organization when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Vivek Singh, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s media director, said the organization should be able to choose a new launch date within days. He declined to go into details.
Chandrayaan, the Sanskrit word for “moon craft,” is designed to make a soft landing on the lunar South Pole and to send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous orbiting Indian space mission.
Dr. K. Sivan, chairman of the ISRO, said last week that the around $140 million Chandrayaan-2 mission was the nation’s most prestigious to date, in part because of the technical complexities of soft landing on the lunar surface — an event he described as “15 terrifying minutes.”
If India did manage the soft landing, it would be only the fourth country to do so after the US, Russia and China.