India’s historic moon mission to land a rover in the uncharted south pole has been delayed minutes before take off due to a technical error.
On Monday, the Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission’s historic launch was temporarily called off. It was scheduled for a July 15 launch at 02:51 local time before being aborted. The attempt would have placed India among the global space superpowers.
India’s most ambitious space mission to date when the countdown stop was frozen and media feed from the control room was disconnected. Not long after, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) confirmed on social media that the launch had been temporarily abandoned.
ISRO took to Twitter to make the announcement following the cancellation of the launch. The agency wrote:
“A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at T-56 minute. As a measure of abundant precaution, #Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later.”
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.
— ISRO (@isro) July 14, 2019
As of this writing, ISRO has yet to announce the new launch date for Chandrayaan-2 which means “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit. But the Guardian reports that the mission could launch sometime today with its 10-minute backup window.
The mission is India’s first attempt at landing on the moon’s surface, something that has been achieved by China, Russia, and the United States. The missions’ success will mark the first in the world to conduct a surface landing on the lunar south pole for research purposes. The region is believed to have information on the moon’s mineral and chemical composition as well as possible water supply.