Chandrayaan-2 to be launched tomorrow, all rehearsals completed

Chennai: The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) deferred second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 will happen tomorrow. The GSLV-Mk-III, carrying the 3,850 kg Chandrayan-2 would lift off from Second Launch Pad at 14.43 hrs tomorrow from SHAR Range, Sriharikota.

The launch rehearsal of the Chandrayaan-2 mission has been completed and the performance was normal, said ISRO. Earlier on Saturday, former ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar had said that the mission is ready for launch.

“Chandrayaan-2 is now ready for launch on 22 July. We intend to move towards the moon on 14 August and land on the moon around 6 September. All the activities are in full swing and we are getting ready for the event,” the former ISRO chief said.

An ISRO statement said, “Chandrayaan-2 launch scheduled on 15 July at 0251 hrs was called off due to a technical snag noticed at around one hour before launch.”

“An expert committee was constituted to analyse the issue and suggest remedial action. The expert committee identified the root cause of the technical snag and all corrective actions are implemented. Thereafter, the system performance is normal,” it added.

It may be recalled that After the 20-hour countdown was stopped at T-minus 56.24 seconds, ISRO, in a statement said “a technical snag was observed in the launch vehicle system at one hour before the launch. As a measure of abundant precaution Chandrayaan-2 launch has been called off and the┬árevised launch date will be announced later.”

Chandryaaan-2 is the ambitious and dream project of ISRO it would launched by India’s heaviest rocket GSLV-Mk-III, for a soft landing on the Moon South Pole.

Chandrayaan-2, carrying an Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan), would be injected into an earth parking 170.06 x 40,400 km orbit, from where it would commence its 54-day long, 3.844 lakh km voyage for a soft landing on the Moon south pole on September six.

India’s first Lunar Mission Chandrayaan-1 was launched using a PSLV on 22 October, 2018 and it detected presence of water on the Lunar surface. While the technical difficulties of landing on the Moon’s South Polar region have deterred many previous attempts, Chandrayaan-2 will be the first to reach this part of the lunar surface–taking the Indian tricolour where no human has been before.

Carrying 13 Indian Payloads (eight on Orbiter, 3 on Lander and two on Rover) and one passive experiment from NASA, Chandrayaan-2 is on a mission unlike any before. Leveraging nearly a decade of scientific research and engineering development, the second lunar expedition will shed light on a completely unexplored section of the Moon–its South Polar region, a site not explored by any country yet. Only Russia, the United States and China have soft-landed on the moon.

NT Bureau