Update : Chandrayaan 2 launch postponed

In a minor setback to Indian efforts to study the environment and ground of the south pole of the moon, the launch of Chandrayaan-2 was canceled, a full 1 hour before its schedule. ISRO officials gave the reason as a technical glitch that observed in the launch vehicle system. While the payload which contained the lunar orbiter, lander and rover was perfectly functioning, ISRO officials called off the take-off of the massive GSLV rocket. This left thousands of spectators, which included President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, disappointed. President Kovind had specially flown to Sriharikota to witness the launch of the rocket.

A new launch date will be announced later.

Why was the launch not authorized?

A technical snag, however insignificant, has the potential to compromise the mission parameters. This could either lead to the failing of the payload release mechanism or could destroy the entire system, costing crores of rupees.

How the launch was to work?

The GSLV Mark III rocket was to first launch the spacecraft into an Earth Parking Orbit (170 km X 40,400 km). At this height, the orbiter was to enhanced till the spacecraft could reach to the Lunar Transfer Trajectory(LTT). The LTT would allow the spacecraft to proceed towards the moon, where on entering the moon s gravity well, the on-board retro-rockets would slow down the spacecraft. This would stabilize the spacecraft in the moon’s gravity following it will orbit the moon at a height of a 100 km). After this, the lander and rover will detach from the orbiter and were to perform a soft-landing on the moon, planned on September 6, 2019.

What is special about Chandrayaan-2?

The Chandrayaan 2 would have been the first mission to reach and study the south pole of the moon. The lander was named Vikram , after Vikram A. Sarabhai, the founding father of space science research in India, and the rover was named Pragyan , meaning wisdom . At about 3,877 kg, the Chandrayaan-2 is nearly four times heavier than the previous, Chandrayaan 1.

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