Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has postponed the launch of its Chandrayaan-2 mission, the Indian mission on the Moon. The mission that was initially set to launch on April 23 will now launch in the first week of October.
Explaining the reason behind delaying the Chandrayaan-2 mission, ISRO chairman Dr. K Sivan told The Times of India (TOI) that the space agency’s panel of eminent space scientists including former Isro chairmen, top space experts, and IIT professors has all praised the preparations for the Chandrayaan-2 mission.
But, taken into consideration the complexities involved in the mission, the panel has recommended postponing the launch until ISRO completes all tests and is confident of a perfect mission. Notably, this is for the first time that ISRO is experimenting with an orbiter, a rover, and a lander.
Dr. Sivan said that the ongoing tests for the lunar mission will take at least 20 more days, so, this is the reason that the original targeted date for the launch cannot be met. He went on to explain that while in case of other satellites they can shift the launch date by a day or two, the same cannot be applied for the launch of the Chandrayaan-2 mission. This is because the ideal date for the moon launch comes only once in a month.
If in case ISRO decides to skip that date of the month, they need to plan the launch next month. Furthermore, the space agency won’t be able to utilize the full lunar day (14 Earth days) for experiments on the moon because of eclipses and other reasons if the mission is launched in the months from May to September. Therefore, ISRO will launch the mission in the first week of October.
The Chandrayaan-2 mission is aimed to study the mineralogical and elemental composition of the lunar surface. If all goes well, it will be the first lunar orbiter to land near the lunar South Pole, between two craters – Manzimus C and Simpelius N.