Chandrayaan-2 launch postponed again

• There will be a further delay in the launch of India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, and it may be no sooner than January.

• The postponement of the ambitious mission from October comes in the wake of the Indian Space Research Organisation facing two setbacks in less than a year. The launch of the mission was planned in April.

• Earlier this year, ISRO had launched GSAT-6A, a military communication satellite, but lost communication with it. Following this, ISRO also recalled the launch of GSAT-11 from Kourou, French Guiana, for additional technical checks.

• Last September, the PSLV-C39 mission, carrying he IRNSS-1H navigation satellite, failed after the heat shield refused to open and release the satellite.

• ISRO is treading a cautious path after these two setbacks as Chandrayaan-2 is one of the crucial launches for the space agency, particularly after Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan. It is also ISRO’s first mission to land on any celestial body.

• 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 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.