The second mission Moon of ISRO was all set to take place. However, Chandrayaan 2 did not take off due to a fuel leak. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had to abort the mission less than an hour before its liftoff.

As a measure of abundant precaution Chandrayaan 2 launch has been called off – ISRO

What the scientists termed as a “technical snag” has not been further explained by them. Furthermore, ISRO has not given any specific date as to when the rescheduled liftoff would take place. The liftoff was halted 54 minutes and 24 seconds before its launch. Even though ISRO had not specifically mentioned that there was a problem with the fuel tank, A senior mission scientist told the Times of India that there had been a leak in the GSLV-MkIII rocket’s helium fuel component.

The unnamed scientist said, “After filling helium, we found the pressure was dropping, indicating there was a leak.” He further added that there rose the possibility of multiple leaks in the future and as such, the scientist did not want to take a risk and the liftoff was halted.

We were lucky that the mission did not enter the automatic launch sequence else all would have been lost – ISRO

Scientists are doing what they can to repair the leak so that the launch could be done by the end of July. It is understandable that the liftoff had to be postponed, and also the fact that the mission chiefs would be more cautious about the new liftoff.

If the launch does not happen in the next 48 hours, it could be postponed for a few months until we get an opportune launch window – Ravi Gupta, a scientist formerly with the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation

India has spent about $140 million on Chandrayaan 2 which makes it one of the cheapest space mission in the entire world. PM Narendra Modi has vowed that by 2022 India would see its first crewed space mission.

India’s first lunar mission in 2008 did not land on the Moon, and the latest mission, if it were to be successful, involved a 2.4 tonne orbiter which would have circled the Moon for about a year, and the lander, Vikram, was to take the rover to the surface near the lunar South Pole. The rover was to send data back on rocks and soil.