Indian engineers have canceled the launch of the Chandrayaan 2 lunar landing mission on Sunday after seeing a "technical catch" in the last hour of the countdown, the Indian Space Agency said.
The robot probe counted to launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on the Indian rocket GSLV Mk.3 on Sunday at 2121 GMT (17:21 EDT) or Monday at 02:51 local time in India.
a) carrier missile system one hour before launch, "tweeted the Indian Space Research Organization. "As a precaution, the launch of Chandrayaan 2 has been canceled for today. The revised start date will be announced later. "
ISRO did not publish any additional information about the reason for the start shift. The Indian news agency IANS reported that the GSLV Mk.3 rocket had to be freed from its liquid propellant gases and returned to the vehicle assembly building of the Satish Dhawan Space Center on the southeastern coast of India for further investigation.
According to IANS, this process will take 10 days before managers can fix the problem and prepare for another launch attempt.
In May, ISRO officials said the Chandrayaan 2's targeted launch window was opened this month on July 9 and will run until Tuesday, July 16 (Monday), July 15 in the United States ). Chandrayaan 2 missed a series of earlier launch windows when the engineers completed the construction and testing of the mission. These include Orbiter, Lander and Rover elements that separate after reaching the Moon.
After launch, the GSLV Mk.3 rocket will inject the 8,547 lb (3,877 kilogram) spacecraft Chandrayaan 2 into an elliptical orbit that spans more than 39,000 kilometers around the Earth. Chandrayaan 2 will use its own propulsion system to lift its orbit and free itself from Earth's gravity, with the orbit expected to arrive around the Moon about three weeks after launch.
Once in the lunar orbit, Chandrayaan 2 will maneuver closer to the Moon before separating the Landing Vehicle from the Orbiter.
When the mission started on Sunday, the moon landing was scheduled for September 6. A new landing date will depend on when the mission leaves the earth.
The $ 142 Million The Chandrayaan 2 Landing Ferry targets an unexplored spot on the near side of the Moon at 70.9 degrees south latitude, closer to the Moon's south pole than any previous probe. The landing module is called Vikram for Vikram Sarabhai, the father of the Indian Space Program, and will use the Pragyan Rover, named after the Sanskrit word for "wisdom."
The stationary lander and rover are designed for a life of 14 days – equivalent to half a lunar day – until the sun goes down at the landing strip and robs the vehicles of electrical energy, while temperatures drop to nearly minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit ( minus 183 degrees Celsius). The Rover and the Lander have a range of scientific instruments, including cameras and spectrometers, to measure the composition of the rocks at the landing site.
If the landing is successful, India will be the fourth nation to perform a controlled soft landing on the landing pad after landings of the Soviet Union, the United States and China.
The Chandrayaan 2 orbiter will conduct its own one-year research mission to record high-resolution map images and probe permanently shaded craters at lunar poles using a dual-frequency radar to better localize water ice occurrences.
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