India’s second unmanned mission to the Moon, named Chandrayaan 2, has been put on hold citing technical issues, and a revised countdown is to be announced shortly.
A technical snag was observed in the launch vehicle at T-56th minute. As a measure of abundant precaution, the Chandrayaan 2 launch has been called off for today, said ISRO in a tweet. A revised launch date will be announced later, they added.
In a first for India, ISRO will deposit a lander and rover on the surface of the Moon on 6 September 2019. The orbiter-lander-rover composite is expected to make a soft-landing on a previously unexplored region just 650 kilometres from the lunar South Pole. This will be the first time any mission touched down so far away from the equator.
One of the primary objectives is to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface. Among the mission’s other scientific objectives are experiments to map the Moon’s surface, its mineral and element content, moonquakes and signatures of water-ice on the lunar surface.