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20-hour countdown for Chandrayaan-2 begins

20-hour countdown for Chandrayaan-2 begins
The launch countdown of Chandrayaan2 commenced Sunday at 1843 Hrs IST. (ISRO)
IHARI/NEW DELHI, JUL 21 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 7/21/2019 11:20:47 AM IST

 SRThe 20-hour countdown for Monday’s Chandrayaan-2 mission launch began at 6.43 pm on Sunday. The rocket and spacecraft’s systems will undergo checks and fuelling during the countdown. The GSLV-Mk III rocket with Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was originally scheduled for flight at 2.51 am on July 15. However, the flight was postponed after a technical snag was detected an hour prior to the rocket lift-off.

India’s ambitious second mission to the Moon Chandrayaan-2 will now lift off at 2.43 pm on July 22 with scientists resolving the technical glitch in GSLV-MkIII-M1 rocket that led to the aborting of the launch three days ago, space agency ISRO said.

Chandrayaan-2, which will be launched on-board the most powerful Geostationary Launch Vehicle GSLV-Mk-III dubbed ‘Baahubali, is ready “to take a billion dreams to the Moon”, the Indian Space Research Organisation said on Twitter. In an update on its website, the ISRO later said remedial action had been taken based on the findings of a committee formed by it to analyse the cause of the glitch following which the rocket performance was ‘normal’. “The expert committee identified the root cause of the technical snag and all corrective actions are implemented. Thereafter, the system performance is normal”, it said. The launch of the 3,850 kg Chandrayaan-2, a three-component spacecraft comprising an orbiter, lander and rover that would explore the unchartered lunar south pole, will now take place from the second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 2.43 pm. The update by the ISRO, however, did not elaborate on the glitch that had led to abrupt stoppage of the countdown with 56.24 minutes left for the blast-off at 2.51 am on Monday.

The snag had occurred when the liquid propellant was being loaded into the rocket’s indigenous cryogenic upper stage engine. Veteran scientists heaped praise for the ISRO for calling off the launch rather hurrying into a major disaster.  Soon after the snag was noticed several scientists began working on identifying the cause, addressing the issue that temporarily halted the ambitious Rs 978 crore lunar mission. The rescheduled launch would also be witnessed by nearly 5,000 people who will be accommodated at a viewing gallery, located a few kms from the launch pad, thrown open to the public by the ISRO in May last.

 

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