India’s First Soft Landing Mission To Moon Delayed Again: Chandrayaan-2 Likely To Be Launched In February

India’s First Soft Landing Mission To Moon Delayed Again: Chandrayaan-2 Likely To Be Launched In FebruaryThe GSLV MKIII rocket. Despite the delay, the widow will be open until March, ISRO Chairman said. (image via ISRO website)

The Chandrayaan-2, which was supposed to be launched today (3 January 2019), has been delayed and is likely to be launched in February, reports Deccan Chronicle. An ISRO official told PTI, "We are all trying hard. Definitely, it should be possible to launch the mission in February".

ISRO Chairman, K Sivan had told earlier, "The window to launch the Moon mission for landing on its surface is, however, open till March." ISRO has not given a reason for the delay for the second time, the Tribune India reported earlier.

In October 2018, state-run ISRO had put off the launch for unspecified reasons. The Chandrayaan-2 mission, which costs Rs 800 crore, comes a decade after the launch of the Chandrayaan-1 on 22 October 2008, from Sriharikota.

The spacecraft weighing 3,980 KG was supposed to be launch the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-3, which would orbit the moon, studying its conditions while collecting data of the moons surface, minerals and exosphere.

The spacecraft, after touching the 100-km lunar orbit, will detach the lander, know as “Vikram” which will slowly descent to make a soft landing at a selected spot on the moon. The lander will, then, deploy a six-wheeled rover. The instruments in the rover will then observe and study the surface of the moon.

India will land its rover on the moon for the first time. The Chandrayaan-2 is expected to do better than its predecessor.

The Chandrayaan-1 was launched in October 2008. It mapped the moon's surface for over nine months before getting lost in August 2009. The mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor.

If successful, India will become the fourth country in the world to make a soft landing on the moon after the the United States, USSR, and China.