ISRO's Second Launch Attempt For Chandrayaan 2 Today At 2:43 pm

ISRO's Second Launch Attempt For Chandrayaan 2 Today At 2:43 pm
New Delhi: 

The 20-hour launch countdown for Chandrayaan-2 began Sunday evening at 6.43 pm, tweeted space agency ISRO. Chandrayaan-2, India's ambitious Rs 1,000-crore moon mission, is set to be launched today afternoon at 2.43 pm. In two more updates on Twitter, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said it had commenced and completed the filling of UH25 fuel in the liquid core stage of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (GSLV Mk 3) rocket, nicknamed 'Baahubali'.

The moon mission will lift off from Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota, days after the first launch attempt was called off.

Chandrayaan-2 will make India the fourth country after the US, Russia and China to successfully pull off a soft landing on the moon.

The mission was stopped 56 minutes and 24 seconds before its launch last Monday after a technical snag was discovered in the unmanned launch vehicle system. In its announcement of the mission being aborted, ISRO had said that the step to delay the launch was taken "as a measure of abundant precaution".

A senior ISRO official had earlier told NDTV that if the problem would not have been rectified earlier, Chandrayaan-2 would have been a "total failure".

"The problem was serious, but simple to resolve. Luckily, we caught the problem. Alertness, prayers and the good wishes of one billion Indians helped avert the mission's total failure," the official said.

An issue emerged in the critical cryogenic stage, which is the last stage space vehicles enter just before launching, had been discovered.

Highly flammable liquid hydrogen and oxygen used in the cryogenic stage had to be removed from 'Bahubali' and an errant component was "tightened", the ISRO official told NDTV.

'Bahubali', a 640-tonne rocket, is 44 metres long or as tall as a 15-storey building.

The rocket will propel into space an orbiter, a lander 'Vikram' (named after ISRO founder and eminent Indian scientist Vikram Sarabhai) and a moon rover 'Pragyaan'.

A soft landing on the moon, or as ISRO chairman K Sivan terms it, the "fifteen minutes of terror", will then be attempted, after which the rover will undertake research, including a thorough mapping of the moon's resources, looking for the presence of water on the moon and clicking high resolution images as well.

K Sivan has called Chandrayaan-2 the "most complex mission ever undertaken by ISRO".

Considering ISRO's budget is less than 20 times that of USA's NASA, a success story for the Rs. 1,000-crore moon mission, which cost lesser to make than Hollywood blockbuster 'Avengers: Endgame', would be a giant boost for India's plan to acquire a significant presence in space.

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