The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was to launch this morning from the space base at Sriharikota. The vehicle was to be the first to make a "soft landing" at the south pole of the terrestrial satellite. Delhi's next goal: to bring an Indian to the moon by 2022.
New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Abort the launch: this is what the Indian space agency (Indian Space Research Organization, Isro) decided this morning, postponing the space mission to conquer the Moon to "date to be defined". The launch of the Chandrayaan-2 lunar probe was scheduled for 2.51 today from the Sriharikota base (Andhra Pradesh), but was suspended 56 minutes before departure due to "technical contingencies".
The lunar enterprise was hailed as another extraordinary conquest of Delhi, which aspired to enter the circle of "great explorers" with a even low-cost mission. In fact, the spaceship, almost entirely "made in India", was built for a total cost of 140 million dollars.
The Chandrayaan-2, equipped with a landing module and lunar vehicle, was to be the first probe to perform a "soft landing" on the south pole of the terrestrial satellite. The task of space exploration was to search for water, fossil remains of the primordial solar system and measure lunar oscillations (similar to earthquakes).
The mascot of the Indian space program is Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, who has pushed for the scientific progress of the country since his first mandate. However, the critics accuse him of wanting to present an overly idyllic face of India, where the majority of the population struggles every day with extreme poverty and the lack of essential goods.
The first launch of an Indian missile took place in 1963. Later, dozens of satellites for telecommunications and terrestrial observations were put into orbit. In 2008 the space agency carried out the first Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission, which never landed on the Moon but collected detailed information thanks to the use of radar. The next objective of Delhi's ambitions will be a crewed expedition, scheduled for 2022.