India Reschedules Launch of Lunar Probe for Next Week

India’s space agency says it will make a second attempt to launch an unmanned probe to the Moon’s south pole next Monday, July 22.

The launch of the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft will take place exactly one week after its first attempt was aborted less than an hour before liftoff due to a “technical snag” on the giant Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark Three rocket.

FILE – Indian Space Research Organization scientists work on various modules of lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 at ISRO Satellite Integration and Test Establishment (ISITE) in Bengaluru, India, June 12, 2019.

Chandrayaan, the Sanskrit word for “moon craft,” is designed for a soft landing on the far side of the moon and to send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous Indian space mission.  

If the $140 million mission is successful, India will become just the fourth nation to pull off a soft landing of a spacecraft on the lunar surface, after the United States — which is observing the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission this week — Russia and China.

 

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