India’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, was originally an Indo-Russian venture are targeted to launch in 2013. The payload was also finalised, on-schedule, by 2010 to include an orbiter, a lander and a rover to be launched abroad a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota.
Come 2013 Russia pulled out of helping India build its lander citing financial problems and the failure of the Roskomos’ Phobos Grunt mission. Because India would have to go at it alone, the mission profile has to be marginally adjusted.
The former ISRO chairman, K. Radhakrishnan, then announced that the Chandrayaan-2 would take off by 2016-17. ISRO spokesperson stated, “Isro aims to demonstrate its capability to soft-land on the lunar surface with this mission.”
March 2018 was finalised for the launch of Chandrayaan-2 but was then shifted to April 23, 2018 in search of a suitable launch window. But even before April rolled in, K. Sivan announced, “Chandrayaan 2 will not be in April, it has been changed to October.”
He further stated, “As the ongoing tests for the lunar mission will take 20 more more days, the April 23rd date could not be met. Therefore the panel decided to defer the launch,” as the national level committee to review Chandrayaan-2 recommended some more tests before the moon mission could take off.
After having missed two launch windows in 2018 because of necessary tests, January 2019 was pegged as the next launch launch for Chandrayaan-2. But K. Sivan cautiously said, “The mission could be carried out by April end and, if this one is also missed, by June.”
Hopefully Chandrayaan-2 will take off by the end of the year if no more hurdles come in its way. Reportedly, it’s only the lander that needs fixing while the rover and orbiter are in good health.