Jul 15, 2019

India's lunar mission halted

The launch of India's second lunar mission has been halted less than an hour before the scheduled blast-off, due to a technical problem.

The countdown stopped 56 minutes before the launch after a "technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system," India's space agency said.

The satellite had been scheduled for launch at 02:51 local time on Monday (21:21 GMT Sunday) from Sriharikota space station on India's eastern coast.

A new launch date will follow soon.

India hopes the $150m mission, Chandrayaan-2, will be the first to land on the Moon's south pole.

It will focus on the lunar surface, searching for water and minerals and measuring moonquakes, among other things.

If successful, India will become the fourth country to make a soft landing on the Moon's surface.

Only the US, China and the former Soviet Union have been able to do so.

(BBC News)

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