Chandrayaan 2 might take off this month after plugging up its fuel tank leak

ISRO

  • Chandrayaan 2, India’s mission to land on the Moon’s South Pole, was called off probably due to a leak in the fuel tank.
  • But, the mission can still take off — the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has a launch window lasting one minute every day this month to get the GSLV Mark III-M1 off the ground.
  • The pressure drop in the fuel tank was not massive but in light of Chandrayaan 2’s significance, ISRO felt it was better to be safe than to be sorry.
India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan 2, was delayed for a seventh time when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) called off the launch 56 minutes before it was scheduled to take off.

But, Chandrayaan 2 can still take off in July. ISRO will reportedly have a one minute window every day, till July 31 to get the mission off the ground.

India’s apex space agency attributed the delay to a ‘ technical snag’. It has come to light that the ‘technical snag’ might have been a fuel leak aboard the launch vehicle, GSLV Mark-III M1 — the ‘Bahubali’ rocket — according to insiders who spoke to the Economic Times.

Better safe than sorry

Reportedly, there was a 10% drop in pressure in one of the fuel tanks on the upper stage of the rocket. Had it been any other mission, ISRO would not have stalled take-off, but considering the significance of Chandrayaan 2, the agency decided to double check the problem.

"It was the right decision to call off Chandrayaan 2 launch. We could not have taken any chance with such a big mission," Ravi Gupta, former Defence Research and Development Organisation's director of public interface, told ANI.

This may be a relatively affordable mission when compared to the budget of space exploration missions by India’s counterparts cost around ₹10 billion — less than the budget of Avengers:Endgame — but it’s still one of India’s most expensive missions thus far. LINK

What next?

The Bahubali rocket and the Chandrayaan 2 satellite are both safe and the fuel has been successfully drained from the launch vehicle, sources tell NDTV.

Even though there’s a potential launch window every day this month, there are several criteria that have to line up for a launch to have the maximum probability for success.

ISRO is yet to officially announce a new date Chandrayaan 2’s venture to the Moon.
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