tech2 News StaffJul 18, 2019 11:55:48 IST
The launch of Chandrayaan 2, India's second mission to the Moon which was called off due to a technical snag on 15 July 2019, has been rescheduled to Monday, 22 July 2019 at 2.43 pm IST, ISRO announced in a tweet today. In a dramatic and anti-climactic turn of events, the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) called off the highly-anticipated Chandrayaan 2 launch 56 minutes before its scheduled liftoff at 2.51 am on 15 July.
ISRO's tweet after the launch was called off on 15 July said that the mission was cancelled due to a "technical snag", but it did not specify anything nor did the ISRO Associate Director (Public Relations Officer) B R Guruprasad say much when he read out a small announcement at 2.40 am saying almost word-for-word what was said in the earlier tweet.
The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk-III), ISRO's heaviest and most capable launch vehicle, will launch the Chandrayaan 2 mission. Built indigenously by ISRO, it uses liquid hydrogen and oxygen as fuel. An ISRO scientist told TOI, although in an unofficial capacity, that the launch was called off due to a drop in pressure detected after helium was filled into the tank. The pressure drop indicated a leak in the fuel tank.
Another source told The Economic Times that the drop was detected in the upper stage of the rocket. "After filling liquid oxygen (oxidiser) and liquid hydrogen (fuel), helium was being filled. The procedure is to pressure the helium bottle up to 350 bars and regulate the output to 50 bars. After filling helium, we found the pressure was dropping, indicating there was a leak. The team is yet to pinpoint the exact spot of the leak in the gas bottle; there could be multiple leaks," the scientist added.
A similar leak took place ahead of the Chandrayaan-1 mission too, former ISRO chief K Madhavan Nair, said in an interview with My Nation, but it was rectified and the mission was a success. He also said that these "glitches were not uncommon" and that a "catastrophe was avoided as the anomaly was detected in time."
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