India aborts Chandrayaan-2 launch, ISRO cites technical glitch


In a move to become a space power, India had previously announced that they will launch their Chandrayaan-2 moon probe on July 15, from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. However, less than an hour before the liftoff, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) aborted the mission citing technical reasons. The space agency is expected to announce a new launch date soon.

Until now, only three nations, the US, the Soviet Union during the 1970s space race and China have landed on the moon. Recently, an Israeli non-profit company named Beresheet attempted to land on the lunar surface, but it crashed on the moon minutes before the planned touchdown.

Chandrayaan, that means 'Moon Craft' in Sanskrit planned for a soft landing on the South Pole of earth's natural satellite, popularly known as the dark side of the moon. It should be noted that only China has landed on this area of the moon, that is not visible from the earth due to tidal locking. Indian was apparently planning to explore water deposits in this region confirmed by 'Chandrayaan-1' mission.

Space experts reveal that India's lunar mission is a part of prime minister Narendra Modi's strategy to show off the country's prowess in security and technology. If India succeeds in making a soft landing on the dark side of the moon, it will emerge as the second country to land in this unexplored region, next to China.

However, skeptics believe that India's involvement in the space race is something unnecessary, especially considering its increasing population and the developing nation status.

Interestingly, India's plan to land on the moon comes at a time when NASA is busy celebrating the 50th anniversary of the manned lunar landing that happened on July 20, 1969. In the meantime, Russia is also planning to take humans to the moon by 2030.