India’s second date with the moon will take a while longer. 56 minutes to go for the launch at 2:51 am, a technical snag was observed in the launch vehicle system and as a matter of abundant precaution, Chandrayaan 2 launch was called off for Monday. ISRO, in a tweet said, it will announce the revised launch date later.
Chandrayaan 2, seen as India’s most ambitious space mission till date, was to take off from Sriharikota on the intervening night of July 14-15. The Vikram lander was to land on the lunar surface on September 6-7. The project costing Rs 986 crore, was to be launched into outer space with the help of the powerful GSLV MKIII rocket, referred to as “fat boy” within ISRO.
ISRO had planned to land Vikram on the dark, unexplored side of the Moon’s South pole. The mission has 13 payloads from India and one passive experiment from NASA.
President of India Ram Nath Kovind was present in Sriharikota to witness the historic moment. So were thousands of people including several students who had assembled at the ISRO viewers gallery.