The launch of India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, may be delayed till January 2019, according to a top official.
The ambitious mission was supposed to be launched in April, and was later fixed for October. The postponement comes in the wake of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facing quick setbacks.
Previous setbacks :-
- Earlier this year, the ISRO had launched GSAT-6A, a military communication satellite, but lost communication with it. Following this, the ISRO also recalled the launch of GSAT-11 from Kourou, French Guiana, for additional technical checks.
- Last September, the PSLV- C39 mission, carrying the IRNSS-1H navigation satellite, failed after the heat shield refused to open and release the satellite.
The ISRO is treading a cautious path after these two setbacks as Chandrayaan-2 is one of the crucial launches for the space agency, particularly after Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission).
About Chandrayaan-2 :-
♣) Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the Moon is a totally indigenous mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover. After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander housing the Rover will separate from the Orbiter. After a controlled descent, the Lander will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a Rover.
♣) The Chandrayaan-2 weighing around 3290 kg and would orbit around the moon and perform the objectives of remote sensing the moon. The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice.
♣) It is also ISRO’s first mission to land on any celestial body.
♣) Chandrayaan-2 will be ISRO’s first time attempt to land a rover, on the Moon. The rover, costing nearly Rs. 800 crore , will be made to land near the yet-unexplored south pole of the moon.