Less than an hour before liftoff, India’s second mission to Moon, Chandrayaan-2 onboard GSLVMkIII-M1 was today called off due to a technical snag.
The GSLV Mark III carrying the orbiter, lander, and rover was to take off at 02:51 am from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, the country’s only launch site.
The launch was aborted as an “abundant precaution” after a technical snag was noticed in the launch vehicle systems after filling liquid hydrogen in the cryogenic upper stage of the rocket.
“A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at 1 hour before the launch. As a measure of abundant precaution, #Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later,” a statement from the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said.
There were four suitable window periods for the launch of Chandrayaan-2 in the month of July – July 15 and 16 and then again during new moon on July 29 and 30. The launch window on July 15, which is just days before the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong first walking on moon, was missed.
The launch is unlikely to happen during the next three windows in July.“The stages will now have to be drained to see what went wrong,” said an official, on condition of anonymity.