The launch countdown of India's lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 was called off exactly 56 minutes and 24 seconds before takeoff due to a technical glitch.

Launch Postponed Due To Technical Snag

Chandrayaan-2 was planned to launch on an ISRO Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III on July 15, 2:51 p.m. from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sriharikota Island in Andhra Pradesh.

However, a technical problem that is believed to have originated from the rocket's cryogenic or uppermost stage was discovered, prompting ISRO to call off the launch. A news report cited that "improper fuel pressure" was among the reasons to call off the Chandrayaan-2 launch. An hour before the launch was canceled, ISRO announced that the filling of liquid hydrogen into the rocket's cryogenic stage had been completed.

"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 posted on Twitter.

"We have not concluded anything as of yet," according to Vivek Singh, a spokesman for ISRO.

Ravi Gupta, former director of public interface of the Defence Research and Development Organisation said the launch was stopped at the right time.

"When work is done at such large magnitude, especially in a unique field, such technical snags do come. I believe that it is a great success and achievement of our scientists that they stopped it at the right time before the occurrence of any big mishap. They will look into it, do necessary rectification and launch it on a new date," Gupta said.

India's Space Dreams

The 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft includes three modules — an orbiter, lunar lander, and a robotic rover that will carry eight scientific payloads for mapping lunar surface and to study the moon's atmosphere. The mission was initially planned to explore the south side of the moon and to probe the presence of nuclear fusion fuel on the lunar surface.

The GSLV Mk-III or the Baahubali has a capacity to carry payloads of up to 4,000 tonnes. It is the most powerful rocket developed by ISRO to date. All equipment involved in the Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission was designed and manufactured in India.

India would have been the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon after the United States, Russia, and China. Israel failed to accomplish its journey to the moon after the Beresheet lunar mission failed to launch earlier this year.

India launched the pilot Chandrayaan lunar mission in 2008 and the Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter made 3,400 orbits around the moon before scientists lost contact with the spacecraft in August 2009 after a power failure. In 2017, NASA’s interplanetary radar was able to locate the derelict Chandrayaan-1 orbiter eight years after it went missing.

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