India’s second mission to Moon, Chandrayaan-2 onboard GSLVMkIII-M1 was called off due to a technical snag on Monday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
“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,” the ISRO tweeted.
The lift-off of the three-component spacecraft weighing 3,850 kg and comprising an orbiter, the lander and the rover was scheduled for 2.51 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) here.
In a first for India, ISRO will deposit a lander and rover on the surface of the Moon on 6 September 2019. The orbiter-lander-rover composite is expected to make a soft-landing on a previously unexplored region just 650 kilometres from the lunar South Pole.
This will be the first time any mission touched down so far away from the equator.
One of the primary objectives is to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface. Among the mission’s other scientific objectives are experiments to map the Moon’s surface, its mineral and element content, moonquakes and signatures of water-ice on the lunar surface
The mission is designed to hunt for deposits of Helium-3 — a waste-free nuclear energy that could answer many of Earth’s energy problems.
The isotope of Helium, which is abundant on the moon, could theoretically meet global energy demands for three to five centurie.
A Deccan Chronicle report said. This kind of energy is also expected to be worth trillions of dollars . There are approximately 1 million metric tons of Helium-3 embedded in the moon, the report said, although only about a quarter of that can realistically be brought to Earth.
The countries which have the capacity to bring that source from the moon to Earth will dictate the process. We don’t want to be just a part of them, we want to lead them,” ISRO chairman K Sivan said.