India delays launch of Chandrayaan-2


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India announced today that it is delaying the January 3, 2019 launch of its second lunar mission, the lander/rover Chandrayaan-2.

They have not announced a new launch date. Nor did they explain the cause of the delay. My suspicion is that K. Sivan, the head of their space agency ISRO, was not happy about some engineering issue, and demanded a review.

Unlike most such administrators, Sivan is an actual engineer who helped design and build India’s two rockets, the PSLV and GSLV. Last year, after the failure of one Indian satellite already in orbit, he recalled another Indian satellite from French Guiana only weeks before launch, had it brought back to India for a careful inspection to make sure it did not have the same problem. The move saved the satellite.

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One comment

  • Dick Eagleson

    You might be right. On the other hand, it might just be that India doesn’t want its launch of this mission to be overshadowed in the media by China’s landing of Chang’e 4 on the lunar far side. Dr. Sivan is a long-time engineer, but in his current job as ISRO head, he’s also supposed to consider other factors as well.

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