ISRO's Chandrayaan 2 mission called off an hour before launch after technical snag with GSLV MkIII

The fix will take ten days after which ISRO can decide on a revised launch schedule, a source from ISRO reportedly said.

In a last-minute change of plans, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that the launch of India's second lunar mission, Chandrayaan 2 has been called off. Technical issues were cited by ISRO in a tweet and a revised countdown is said to be announced shortly. The technical snag was picked up by the mission control in the launch vehicle, at the T-56th minute of the countdown.

As a measure of abundant precaution, the Chandrayaan 2 launch has been called off for today, ISRO added, announcing that the launch date will be announced later, they added.

ISROs Chandrayaan 2 mission called off an hour before launch after technical snag with GSLV MkIII

An illustration of the GSLV Mark III vehicle on the launchpad ready for liftoff. Image courtesy: ISRO

"A technical snag was observed in the launch vehicle system at one hour before the launch. As a measure of abundant precaution Chandrayaan 2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later," ISRO shared in an update on their website.

"The technical snag was noticed (as) the cryogenic fuel was being loaded. We have to approach the vehicle to assess the problem. First, we have to empty the fuel loaded in the rocket, then the rocket will be taken back for further investigation," a source from ISRO told IANS. "This process will take 10 days after that only we can decide on the launch schedule," the source reportedly added.

GSLV MkIII at the launchpad at Sriharikota. Image credit: ISRO

GSLV MkIII at the launch pad at Sriharikota. Image credit: ISRO

The countdown for the highly-anticipated GSLV MkIII-M1/Chandrayaan-2 mission began at 6.51 am IST on 14th July. This was followed by the propellant and liquid fuel (UH25) being filled into the GSLV's core liquid stage (L110) at 9.42 am on 14 July, followed by filling of liquid oxygen (an oxidizer required for the fuel to combust) in the cryogenic stage at around noon. Tests, indicators and a "full dress rehearsal" showing no sign of trouble, the GSLV-MkIII-MI.

With the Chandrayaan 2 mission, ISRO had planned to explore a previously unexplored part of the Moon's South Pole. The mission has a total of 13 payloads from India and one passive experiment from NASA.

Update: 16 July- ISRO scientists detected drops in pressure after they filled the helium which indicated that there was a leak in the tank. 

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