India counts down to new bid to launch Moon mission

  • Monday 22, July 2019 10:59 AM
  • India counts down to new bid to launch Moon mission
Sharjah24 – AFP: Thousands gathered to witness India's second attempt to send a landmark spacecraft to the Moon on Monday, a week after a fuel leak forced the launch to be postponed.
Indian scientists offered ritual prayers at temples near the base, according to media reports, and said they were confident there would be no repeat of the problem that led to countdown being halted 56 minutes before last week's launch.

The South Asian nation is bidding to become just the fourth nation after Russia, the United States and China to land a spacecraft on the Moon.

The fresh launch attempt for Chandrayaan-2 -- Moon Chariot 2 -- is scheduled for 2:43 pm (0913 GMT).

With light rain falling on the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, an island off the coast of southern Andhra Pradesh state, President Ram Nath Kovind joined 7,000 dignitaries and flag-waving school children waiting for the launch.

The official countdown started late Sunday and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said the fuelling of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) MkIII, India's most powerful rocket, was going according to plan.

ISRO chief K. Sivan told The Hindu newspaper late Sunday that there was "no chance for any technical fault to arise now".

"When the technical fault happened, we stopped the countdown, identified the issue, and rectified it."