India launches moon mission a week after it was aborted

Chandrayaan 2

It added the spacecraft was ready "to take a billion dreams to the Moon - now stronger that ever before".

The liftoff marks India's bid to become only the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the moon.

As per the ISRO Chairman, AS Kiran Kumar, the glitch has been completely fixed and it is all set to be launched on July 22. Later reports from Indian media state that a pressure drop in the upper stage of the 44-metre-tall rocket due to a helium leak, which would have resulted in a loss of required thrust. Though the gallery capacity is about 10,000 people, ISRO plans to increase the number of viewers in a gradual manner.

What is this mission all about?

A successful landing would make Chandrayaan-2 the first lunar probe on the south polar region of the moon.

After lift-off, the 3,850 kg Chandrayaan-2, comprising an orbiter, lander and rover, will undergo 15 crucial manoeuvres before landing on the Moon, expected by the first week of September, Sivan said.

The almost 150 million USA dollars worth of moon mission aims at gathering data on water, minerals and rock formations on the lunar surface.

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This July 2019, photo released by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) shows its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) MkIII-M1 at its launch pad in Sriharikota, an island off India's south-eastern coast. Chandrayaan 2 took off aboard the most powerful GSLV-Mk-III rocket dubbed "Baahubali". That the Prime Minister announced in the Independence Day speech is very refreshing as past space missions have remained opaque until the months before the launch. The lander Vikram was named after Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, regarded as the father of the India's space programme, and weighs 1,471 kg.

The lander is expected to last for around one lunar day which is nearly 14 earth days. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) tweeted the revised launch date last Thursday (July 18), four days after the first launch attempt was aborted.

Modi's nationalist government has in particular been active in advancing India's space policy and projecting India as a space power.

How long is the journey to the Moon?

A Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) of USA space agency NASA is among the payloads and is aimed at understanding dynamics of Earth's Moon system and deriving clues on Lunar interior. The second moon mission will follow the discovery of water ice on the moon by its predecessor Chandrayaan-1, launched on October 21, 2008.

The $150 million mission seeks to gather data on water, minerals, seismic activity, composition and thermal characteristics of the moon while also making an unprecedented landing near the lunar south pole. In the earth and lunar phases, the spacecraft will slingshot around the earth and moon before choosing a hazard-free landing site and touch down, tentatively, on September 6-7.

Who is on the team?

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