India’s second mission to the moon, after a few delays has finally been launched. The credit for the successful launch of Chandrayaan-2 goes to Muthayya Vanitha and Ritu Karidhal, the two women directors of ISRO in charge of the mission. However, their work isn’t over until the rocket lands on moon, which is expected in September.
Chandrayaan 2 didn’t go as smoothly as it was planned; the mission was initially scheduled for lift off on July 15 but was aborted just an hour prior to its launch. ISRO tweeted out saying that the flight was called off due to a technical snag- a drop in pressure in one of the nine helium tanks that are an essential part of the rocket’s cooling system.
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
However, ISRO is not new to challenges; the country’s space organization has successfully rectified the fault within less than a week and also announced a new launch date. It tweeted out saying Chandrayaan-2 “is now rescheduled at 2:43 pm IST on Monday, July 22, 2019” and it rightfully happened. ISRO’s confidence to attempt the second launch so soon can be attributed to the assurance given by the technical teams working at the Sriharikota launch pad as they said they are “confident of rectifying the snag” in two days. The space agency was also keen on July 22 because it is the earliest date on which it’ll get a chance to navigate the lunar craft to the Moon’s orbit. The next possible chance is later in September.
— ISRO (@isro) July 18, 2019
Chandrayaan-2 mission is aiming to explore the uncharted lunar South Pole. This comes 11 years after ISRO’s successful first lunar mission- Chandrayaan 1, which was operational for 312 days and made more than 3400 orbits around the moon. Billed as the most complex and prestigious mission ever undertaken by the ISRO since its inception, Chandrayaan-2, if successful will make India the fourth country to soft-land a rover on the lunar surface after Russia, the United States and China.