The launch of a revolutionary satellite and an experimental ‘Moon Sniper’ lunar lander was scrubbed 40 minutes before liftoff due to a technical glitch.
The mission, known as the Lunar Exploration Program (LEP), was scheduled to launch on Tuesday from the Launch Pad 6 at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India. The launch was to be the first in a series of missions to explore the lunar surface.
The satellite was to be powered by a canister filled with 60kg of experimental propellant, intended to power a future mission to the Moon’s far side. This propellant is highly volatile and would, in theory, provide enough thrust to manoeuvre the satellite into its intended orbit and send data back to Earth.
The Moon Sniper was to be a robotic lander that would be used to make precise landings on the Moon’s surface. Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), it contains a number of innovative technologies, such as a proximity sensor and a radar system.
The sudden scrubbing of the launch was due to a technical glitch that was detected just 40 minutes before the mission was set to begin. The issue was identified as a faulty electrical relay on the lander, which could have caused burns or explosions if the mission had gone ahead.
However, despite the technical glitch, ISRO officials remained optimistic about the launch timeline and said that a future launch would be planned soon. The agency said that the mission had already completed over 64% of the planned works, making it ready for launch.
The launch of this mission was expected to be a historic leap in India’s space exploration capabilities, and many hope that the government will not delay a future launch date for too long. The technologies tested through this mission have incredible potential and a successful mission would take India to the next level of space exploration.