Launch of Chandrayaan 2 Delayed yet Again

Launch of Chandrayaan 2 Delayed yet Again

With this, it will be a race between Israel and India for the fourth position in the world to soft-land on the moon. The Israel mission will be utilising the American Falcon-9 rocket expecting to soft land on the moon on February 13, 2019.

Chandrayaan-2 is a model consisting of the orbiter, lander, and rover. The rover of India's second lunar mission, costing almost Rs 800 crore, will be made to land near the yet-unexplored south pole. India's second mission to the moon Chandrayaan-2 might take-off in January, suggest a leading official. Previously, the GSLV II was scheduled to ferry Chandrayaan 2, now it is reported that the heaviest vehicle in ISRO's stable, the Bahubali or GSLV III, is the vehicle of choice. Technical glitches are causing delays at ISRO. Israel and India, both will be competing for the 4th spot to launch their lunar missions. A GSLV Mk III launch costs around Rs 4 billion and it also entails years of research and development.

M Annadurai, the director of UR Rao Satellite Centre, told NDTV that the orbiter is fully ready and tested, adding that the lander is now undergoing tests. "It needs five thrusters of 800 newtons which will be used to make it gradually come down and land on the moon surface. These tests are going on in a simulated moon environment", Dr Annadurai told NDTV. The mission involves a soft-landing on the lunar surface and a rover that will walk and analysis the content on the moon's surface.

Earlier in 2018, the ISRO had lost communication with GSAT-6A, a military communication satellite days after its launch.

Unlike the Chandrayaan-1 programme in 2008 that involved only orbiting around the moon, Chandrayaan-2 is a much complicated mission as it involves an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The moon rover will leave a permanent imprint of India's flag and emblem on moon's surface.

So far, Russia, the U.S. and China have successfully soft landed a rover on the moon and now India and Israel are scrambling against each other take the fourth spot in the prestigious club.

Since 1966, the United States and the former Soviet Union have put around 12 unmanned spacecraft on the moon using braking power to perform "soft" landings and China did so in 2013.

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