what’s in news?
The launch of Chandrayaan-2, India’s second Moon mission, was dramatically called off less than an hour before the lift-off time due to a technical problem.
The decision to call off the mission was taken due to a “technical snag”, that was observed in launch vehicle system at 1 hour before the launch.
What is Chandrayaan-2?
- India’s second mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2 aimed to place a rover on the lunar surface, a feat previously accomplished only by three other countries — the US, Russia and China.
- The Chandrayaan-2 mission consists of an orbiter, a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyaan.
- Among the experiments the mission will conduct are tests to understand the spread of water molecules on the lunar surface.
- According to the IANS report, Isro scientists will now empty the GSLV Mk-III rocket of the fuel filled for the Chandrayaan-2 mission. The rocket will then be examined to identify the root cause of the technical glitch noticed during the launch countdown.
- It is reportedly expected that this process of examining the rocket will take around 10 days, which puts a question mark on when Chandrayaan-2 will be launched again.
Why is it special?
- ISRO aimed to touch down on the South Pole of the Moon where no country had gone before.
- With this, India aims to become only the fourth country in the world to land a rover on the Moon. Previously, only the United States, Russia and China have landed rovers on the Moon.
- However, none have gone where Isro aims to go with Chandrayaan-2 — Moon’s south pole region. The site was chosen because of the possibility of finding water in areas that remain permanently under a shadow and because of the presence of certain craters that may contain fossilised records of the early Solar System.
- The Chandrayaan-2 mission payload
- An oribter that will revolve around the Moon for around a year and study the satellite’s outer atmosphere.
- A lander named Vikram that will detach from the orbiter and perform a ‘soft landing’ near the Moon’s south pole.
- A rover named Pragyaan that will leave the lander and roam the lunar surface for around 14 Earth days, performing surface and sub-surface experiments.
- Among the most significant experiments this plans to conduct are tests to further the discovery of water on the Moon made by the Chandrayaan-1 mission in 2008-09.
- the new mission plans to carry out tests to understand the extent of the spread of water molecules under the lunar surface.