The launch of Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the moon will be delayed further and it may be no sooner than January, a top official said. The delay of the ambitious mission from October followed the two setbacks faced by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in less than a year. The launch of the mission was first planned in April.
Chandrayaan-2 is one of the crucial launches for the space agency, particularly after Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission). It is also ISRO's first mission to land on any celestial body.
The ISRO is treading a cautious path after facing two setbacks.
"We don't want to take any risk," said the official, on condition of anonymity. There are certain windows during which the mission could be launched. The next launch window is likely to be in January, he added.
Repeated attempts to solicit a response from ISRO Chairman K Sivan were not successful, the official said.
ISRO had launched GSAT-6A, a military communication satellite earlier this but lost communication with it. The ISRO had also recalled the launch of GSAT-11 from from Kourou, French Guiana, for additional technical checks.
The PSLV- C39 mission, carrying the IRNSS-1H navigation satellite had failed last September after the heat shield refused to open and release the satellite.
In April, Sivan informed the government about the postponement of the launch to October-November.
A national-level committee to review Chandrayaan-2 recommended some additional tests before the mission could take off.
Chandrayaan-2 will be ISRO's first time attempt to land a rover on the Moon. The rover of India's second lunar mission, costing nearly Rs 800 crore, will be made to land near the yet-unexplored south pole.