The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was all set to launch its Chandrayaan-2 mission to deliver a rover to the Moon’s South Pole last week, but a “technical snag” observed during the last hour of launch prep put a hold on those plans. Now, ISRO has officially set a new date for the launch: Monday, July 22, 2019 at 2:43 PM IST (5:13 AM EST).
Chandrayaan-2 will aim to deliver a lunar orbiter to the Moon, which will have a lunar lander and rover on board. It’ll be the first attempt by any space agency to soft land a rover at the Moon’s South Pole, as well as India’s first attempt at this kind of soft decent, where a lander attempts to control its path to the Moon’s surface and touch down gently, instead of an orbiter essentially just firing an impact-shielded vessel at the surface with research equipment on board. India will become only the fourth country to have managed this kind of Moon landing, if the mission is successful.
We’ll provide a live stream closer to the launch date, and it should be quite the sight to see when the GSLV Mk-III rocket carrying the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft makes its way to orbit.